Newcastle United are poised to break their transfer record with the £59m acquisition of the Sweden striker Alexander Isak from Real Sociedad.
A deal which could rise to £63m would eclipse the £40m paid for Joelinton in 2019 and is believed to be close. Providing all proceeds to plan a 22-year-old long coveted by Newcastle’s manager, Eddie Howe, would become Newcastle’s fourth summer signing after Nick Pope, Sven Botman and Matt Targett.
Newcastle had all but abandoned hope of signing Isak this summer but the hamstring injury suffered by their principal striker, Callum Wilson, during last Sunday’s 3-3 draw with Manchester City prefaced a renewed attempt at recruiting him.
When the director of football, Dan Ashworth, flew to Europe this week he was not discouraged by executives at Real Sociedad, where the 6ft 4in Isak has scored 44 goals in 132 appearances since arriving from Borussia Dortmund three years ago.
Isak, who has 37 caps, is also much admired by, among others, Arsenal, Everton and Juventus but is understood to be keen to join Newcastle where, despite limited room for financial manoeuvre because of financial fair play restrictions, he would earn about £120,000 a week.
It seems that, after being quoted a £70m fee plus £200,000-a-week wages for Isak earlier in the summer, Ashworth has been rewarded for his patience by a more realistic deal. Terms with Isak have been agreed and only the fine details of the deal with La Real remain to rubber-stamped.
Isak’s arrival would represent a big relief for Howe, who could be without the injury-prone Wilson for a few weeks and has only the less than prolific Chris Wood as natural central attacking cover.