Newcastle United agree five-year-deal for 'quality' player after £20m Tottenham Hotspur snub

Lloyd Kelly celebrates with Steve Cook after scoring Bournemouth's third goal at Norwich City. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)Lloyd Kelly celebrates with Steve Cook after scoring Bournemouth's third goal at Norwich City. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)
Lloyd Kelly celebrates with Steve Cook after scoring Bournemouth's third goal at Norwich City. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Newcastle United told they are signing a “quality” player in Lloyd Kelly as free transfers nears completion.

Lloyd Kelly is a “great signing” for Newcastle United with Eddie Howe capable of taking the defender’s game to the next level.

That’s according to AFC Bournemouth legend Steve Cook, who played in the same team as Kelly for two-and-a-half-years before moving to Nottingham Forest in January 2022.

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Kelly has agreed a five-year deal, including an option of a further year, after letting his Cherries contract run down. The 25-year-old underwent the first part of his medical in London on Wednesday ahead of officially joining on July 1.

Lloyd Kelly celebrates with Steve Cook after scoring Bournemouth's third goal at Norwich City. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)Lloyd Kelly celebrates with Steve Cook after scoring Bournemouth's third goal at Norwich City. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)
Lloyd Kelly celebrates with Steve Cook after scoring Bournemouth's third goal at Norwich City. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images) | Getty Images

The 25-year-old had attracted interest from a number of clubs, including Tottenham Hotspur. Bournemouth previously rejected a £20million bid from the North London outfit last summer,

“I think from a Bournemouth point of view, it’s really disappointing to lose a quality player like Lloydy,” Cook told BBC Radio Solent. “He’s physically excellent, lovely footballer, knows the club as well.

“It’s a shame, especially on a free, but I think it was kind of inevitable after, I think, the bid from Tottenham but nothing materialised there. I think it’s a huge loss for Bournemouth and a great signing for Newcastle United.

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Kelly leaves the South Coast, five years after joining for £13m from Bristol City. He went on to make 141 appearances and captained the club to promotion back to the Premier League in 2021-22.

Cook believes the opportunity to join a club of Newcastle’s stature was too good to turn down.

When asked why Kelly had left the Cherries, Cook replied: “I think probably the stature of club. Bournemouth will eventually get there, they’ve got great plans for the training ground and the stadium but I think that Newcastle, where they are aiming – they just missed out on Europe this year, but making finals and playing in Europe just recently is a massive pull.

Newcastle are pushing to sign Lloyd Kelly from Bournemouth this summer.Newcastle are pushing to sign Lloyd Kelly from Bournemouth this summer.
Newcastle are pushing to sign Lloyd Kelly from Bournemouth this summer. | AFP via Getty Images

“Lloydy probably thinks that if he was to sign at Bournemouth, it’d be really difficult to leave as he’d warrant a huge fee so timing for him, he can leave on a free, go to a huge club and test himself pushing towards Champions League football.”

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Cook also named Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe as a key factor. Howe was the manager who brought Kelly to Bournemouth.

“He’s physically amazing, he’s extremely fast, a specimen of a man and technically he is a very good footballer,” he said.

“He can play centre-half in a back four, left centre-half in a back five, and left-back, so he’s very versatile, at such a young age as well. Newcastle are getting a great player and Bournemouth are obviously losing one.

“It’s exciting for Lloyd going to such a huge club as Newcastle United, he’s joining a manager and coaching staff he knows extremely well who will take his game to the next level.

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“He is joining a manager [in Eddie Howe] and a coaching staff that he knows extremely well, who will take his game to the next level. I’d see it probably as unfinished business with COVID hitting when Lloydy had just signed and with Eddie leaving when we got relegated.”

Cook, now at Queens Park Rangers, added: “Over the seasons Lloyd has had a bit of criticism from Bournemouth fans and that stays with you. I don’t think it’s had a massive say but it would have disappointed Lloyd.

“He’s been offered a way out and accepted that. I think he’s been a great servant for the club. I think if you ask anyone in the club, no one would give you a bad word, with how professional he is.

“Fair play to Lloyd. He captained the club back to the Premier League and he’s leaving the club in a great place. I don’t think anyone can criticise Lloydy for taking the opportunity to go.”

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