Newcastle United have agreed terms with Dutch side FC Twente for the transfer of midfielder Cheick Tiote.
Tiote has passed a medical and is now awaiting a work permit ahead of a move to Tyneside.
The 24-year-old Ivory Coast international was part of the FC Twente side which won the Eredivisie under Steve McClaren last season and played in all three of his country's games at the World Cup finals.
Newcastle boss Chris Hughton admitted he is looking forward to bringing a bit of steel into the Magpies midfield.
"He is a defensive midfield player," Hughton said. "We feel it's such an important area in this division...Alan Smith is probably our only defensive midfielder in the (current) squad. Hopefully there will be one or two more signings before the window closes.''