'Landmark deal' agreed for midfielder after Newcastle United trial and Arsenal interest

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There has been a major claim made about one reported Newcastle United and Arsenal transfer target.

Southampton are reportedly closing in on a deal for an Irish wonderkid that has been the subject of interest from Newcastle United and Arsenal in recent months.

Waterford youngster Romeo Akachukwu spent time on trial with Newcastle last summer and featured for the Magpies Under-21s during friendlies against non-league sides Hebburn Town and Spennymoor Town before returning to the League of Ireland club. A permanent deal was not offered but both Newcastle and Arsenal are believed to have monitored the attacking midfielder’s progress in recent months.

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However, it is Championship club Southampton that are believed to have made a firm move to sign the Republic of Ireland youth international in recent days after the Irish Independent claimed the Saints have agreed a deal with Waterford. The report suggests the League of Ireland side will receive an initial fee of £320,000 and a further £100,000 will be paid in bonuses if Akachukwu's progress meets set criteria.

The move, which has been described as a ‘landmark deal’ for the League of Ireland club, will be viewed as a coup for Southampton, who will hope to be competing alongside Newcastle and Arsenal in the Premier League next season on the back of a successful push for promotion from the Championship.

Despite missing out on the Irish youngster, Newcastle are believed to be continuing with their efforts to strengthen at all levels of their academy over the coming months after the likes of AC Milan defender Cathal Heffernan, Shrewsbury Town midfielder Travis Hernes and highly-rated Manchester City product Alfie Harrison all moved to Tyneside over the last 12 months.

That will only increase hopes United can avoid the situation that saw highly-rated midfielder Ollie Harrison tempted away by Premier League rivals Chelsea.

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