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The 25-year-old started just 10 times for Atletico Madrid in La Liga last season but Alan Pardew is ready to offer the Belgian a regular role in central defence

EXCLUSIVE
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 he was limited to just 10 starts in La Liga and a number of those were in his unfavoured position of full-back.

A move to Newcastle will afford Alderweireld him the chance to flourish in his natural position of centre-back, where he spent four years as a key player for Ajax before joining the Spanish side.

Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham, Southampton have all been strongly linked with the defender, 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, both now at St James' Park.

Alderweireld will join on an initial loan and Newcastle will have the option to make the move permanent.

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

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