Newcastle United have announced that they have reached an agreement to sign much-loved teenager Garang Kuol, who will join the Premier League club in January.
The 18-year-old currently plays for Australian side Central Coast Mariners but the Magpies moved quickly to sign him ahead of a queue from top European clubs.
Kuol, who recently made his senior international debut for the Socceroos, arrived in the north east on Wednesday to sign the terms, with Newcastle announcing the deal will become official in January 2023 when the transfer window opens.
Speed was key for Eddie Howe, with the Daily Mail reporting that Stuttgart had already made an offer, while Barcelona wanted him on a two-year loan.
He is believed to cost around £300,000 and complete an initial loan spell after joining Newcastle.
Kuol’s family is from Sudan, but fled to Egypt, where Garang was born in 2004.
The family lived in Egypt for a year before moving to Australia as refugees.
Her father, Mawien, and her mother, Antonita, worked as dry cleaners, while Antonita also had a job as a seasonal worker in a fruit factory.
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And he is now on his way to becoming a Premier League player, as he told his new club’s official website: “It’s unreal.
“As a young boy in Australia, the Premier League is the main thing that everyone watches, but no one really thinks they’ll reach those heights. To be one of those people, to be in the position that I’m in, that’s It’s incredible.
“Now that I’ve signed for Newcastle I want to train hard, play hard, hopefully go to the World Cup and come back here.”
Kuol made his A-League debut for the Central Coast Mariners in April, scoring four goals in his first eight games.
He thrived under the tutelage of Nick Montgomery – the former Sheffield United midfielder.
Kuol made his debut for the Australian national in a friendly against New Zealand during the recent international break.
He was also selected in the 2022 A-League All Stars squad which faced Barcelona in front of over 70,000 spectators in Sydney earlier this year.
And now that he has completed his move to Newcastle, he has followed in the footsteps of his older brother, Alou, who joined Stuttgart last year.
Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth said: “Garang is a very promising young talent and we are delighted that he will continue his development as a Newcastle United player.
“Our philosophy is to invest in our Academy and in exciting young players for the future, as well as players needed to make an immediate impact in the first team.
“We wish Garang well in his remaining matches with the Central Coast Mariners and we hope to see him back on the international stage very soon.”
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