Newcastle United complete unannounced double swoop as duo pose for pictures at St James’ Park

Newcastle United are building for the future as they continue to bolster their academy ranks.

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Newcastle United have completed the signings of two promising youngsters from clubs in the Football League and National League.

Michael Mills of League One side Port Vale and Oldham Athletic prospect Sam Alabi have joined the Magpies’ academy ranks at under-15s and under-16s level.

Mills, who plays as a winger, and Alabi, a box-to-box midfielder, posed for photos at St James’ Park last week.

The Magpies have also beaten Premier League rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur to the signing of 16-year-old Southend United striker Kacey Wooster.

The Southend Echo reported last week that Wooster has joined for an initial five-figure sum, though that will increase should he progress through the ranks.

It’s also understood that Newcastle are closing in on a deal to sign Wolverhampton Wanderers and England under-16s defender Leo Shahar.

Republic of Ireland youth international midfielder Romeo Akachukwu also visited Tyneside last month, while United are expected to sign former West Ham United midfielder Divine Mukasa and Birmingham City winger Trevan Sunasi.

Since becoming United’s sporting director last year, Dan Ashworth has implemented big changes to the academy - both on and off the pitch - by creating a number of scouting and recruitment roles to be based across England as a way of improving academy productivity.

Paul Midgley (Head of Head of Youth Recruitment) and Paul McLaren (Head of National Youth Scouting 13s to 18s) have joined from Manchester City, while Edward Black (Lead Academy Scout U9s to U14s), Delroy Ebanks (Academy Lead Scout for the South of England), Andy Basterfield (North West Regional scout) and Claire Burrows are among those to join from Arsenal, West Ham, Manchester United and Leicester City, respectively.