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The 25-year-old struggled for game-time at Atletico Madrid in La Liga last season but Alan Pardew is ready to offer the Belgian a regular role in central defence

By Graeme Bailey

Newcastle United are set to win the race to sign Atletico Madrid defender Toby Alderweireld , Goal understands.

The 25-year-old joined Atletico Madrid last summer, but struggled for game time in La Liga, completing just 10 games, and was often deployed in his unfavoured position of full-back.

Alderweireld prefers to play as a centre-back and that is where Newcastle will give him the chance to feature.

Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Southampton have all been strongly linked with the former Ajax man, while rivals Sunderland had also been hoping to lure him to the north east.

But Goal understands that he is set to opt for a move to Newcastle after talking with former Ajax team-mates Siem de Jong and Vurnon Anita, who are both now at St James' Park.

Alderweireld will join on an initial loan and Newcastle will have the option to make the move permanent should he impress during his short-term stay.

Goal understands that Alderweireld's arrival could see defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa head out of the club, with Roma showing strong interest in the France international.