NEWCASTLE UNITED have confirmed that a deal is in place to sign highly-rated Australian teenager Garang Kuol in January.
The Magpies have triggered the buyout clause in Kuol's current contract with Australian A-League side Central Coast Mariners, and the 18-year-old forward has been on Tyneside this week to complete a medical and finalise the terms of his new deal with Newcastle.
Kuol, who made his senior international debut for the Socceroos against New Zealand last week, attracted interest from a number of high-profile clubs, but has opted for a move to St. James' Park.
"It's unreal," said Kuol, who is expected to be loaned out in the second half of the season. "As a young boy in Australia, the Premier League is the main thing that everyone watches but nobody actually thinks they'll reach those heights. To be one of those people, to be in the position I am, it's amazing.
"Now that I've signed for Newcastle, I want to train hard, play hard, hopefully go to the World Cup and come back here."
Born in Egypt, he moved to Australia with his family as a refugee and joined the Mariners' youth system in January 2021.
He made his senior debut for the club in December 2021, scoring within seven minutes of his introduction from the substitutes' bench during a 6-0 FFA Cup victory against APIA Leichhardt.
As a 17-year-old, Kuol also scored on his A-League bow in April 2022 in a 5-0 triumph over Wellington Phoenix before going on to score four goals in his first seven league appearances.
He was selected as part of the 2022 A-League All Stars team that took on Barcelona in front of over 70,000 spectators in Sydney earlier this year.
“Garang is a very promising young talent and we are excited that he’ll be continuing his development as a Newcastle United player," said Newcastle sporting director Dan Ashworth. "Our philosophy is to invest in our academy and in exciting young players for the future, as well as in players required to make an immediate impact in the first team.
"We wish Garang the best of luck in his remaining games with Central Coast Mariners and we hope to see him on the international stage again very soon.”