Toon to deal in Diatta understands Newcastle are closing in on a move for Senegal defender Lamine Diatta.

Diatta is available outside the transfer window as he is a free agent having bought himself out of his contract with Besiktas.

The powerful defender is believed to have travelled over to England earlier this week as he seeks to secure a move to the Premier League.

Birmingham and Wigan have been linked with the 32-year-old, but it appears Newcastle have jumped to the head of the queue.

Magpies boss Kevin Keegan is keen to shore up his leaky defence as he looks to arrest their slide down the table and he is believed to be ready to offer Diatta a short-term deal at St James' Park.

Diatta has a wealth of experience having played for Toulouse, Marseille, Rennes, Lyon and St Etienne in France before making the move to Besiktas.