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By ESPN Staff

Newcastle land Forest star Perch

Newcastle United have begun their summer recruitment drive with the signing of utility man James Perch from Nottingham Forest.

Perch joins the Magpies for an undisclosed fee having passed a medical and agreed terms on a four-year deal at St James' Park.

The 24-year-old, whose contract at the City Ground was due to expire next summer, can play anywhere across the back four and in midfield and his versatility is just one of the qualities which brought him to the attention of United boss Chris Hughton.

"James is a player I've admired for some time and it's great we've been able to secure his services," said Hughton on the club's official website. "I'm certain he'll prove to be a great addition to our squad."

Mansfield-born Perch made more than 200 appearances for Forest and also captained the side on occasion.

Forest's chief executive Mark Arthur said: "James has been a marvellous servant for Nottingham Forest. He made it clear that the prospect of a move into the Premier League with Newcastle appealed to him and we couldn't stand in his way.

"I would like to thank him for the service he has given us and wish him all the very best with Newcastle."

The signing of Perch could be an indication of what's to come for Newcastle fans this summer with the club seeking to recruit on a budget following their well-documented financial problems.

Owner Mike Ashley stated in May there would be no new capital outlay on players in the wake of promotion back to the Premier League.

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