Rafa Benitez has sanctioned a deal to sign Chelsea’s on-loan midfielder Christian Atsu on a permanent basis in the summer.

According to a report by The Sun, Newcastle are closing in on their first signing in the form of midfielder Christian Atsu, after making a return to the Premier League.

Both Newcastle and Chelsea have entered an agreement upon a £6 million deal in exchange for the Ghanaian international. While it is great news for Atsu, who has been happy and playing well with Newcastle, there is still some time left for the deal to officially happen.

The 25-year-old Atsu has made 32 league appearances, scoring five goals for Newcastle this season. The player also represented his country at the Africa Cup of Nations before eventually losing to Cameroon in the semi-finals.

Atsu took some time to settle into Newcastle after joining from Chelsea and initially failed to impress much. However, his performances took a contrasting turn towards the end as Newcastle fought hard to snatch the title from Brighton & Hove Albion.

Malaga's new Ghanaian midfielder Christian Atsu

Christian Atsu is happy to join Newcastle United on a permanent move from Chelsea. (Photo – EPA)

In fact, Atsu was instrumental in their 4-1 victory over Preston North End, and he also scored in that game which ended up securing promotion for the club. He also scored during their 2-0 win at Cardiff City about four days later.

Atsu first joined Chelsea in a £3.5 million move from Porto in 2013, even as there were reports of Liverpool being very interested in signing him back then. However, Atsu has not made a single appearance for the Blues, instead being sent on loan spells at clubs like Vitesse Arnhem, Everton, Bournemouth, Malaga and then Newcastle United.

Signing Atsu came as a welcome move for Rafa Benitez considering how well he’s played at the club and it can represent a much-needed good start as the Spaniard gets ready to herald a new era in the Premier League for Newcastle.

The Toons will have their work cut out next season when they will have to get used to the demands and competition of the Premier League all over again. Players like Atsu will be key to their campaign next season, and the player will join up with Newcastle again on July 3 for pre-season training.

Meanwhile, Benitez is still in the market to find a quality winger for the club as he looks to boost the squad’s arsenal ahead of their top-flight matches.

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