Alan Smith said the time was right to embrace a new era at St James´ Park after signing a five-year deal with Newcastle for an undisclosed fee believed to be in the region of £6million.

Smith revealed he had been close to a move to the north-east on a number of previous occasions but only now did he believe the future looked bright enough to complete the deal.

Smith said: "I´ve had the opportunity to come here a few times and I just felt this time was the right time. I felt that with what the gaffer is doing and the new owners the club has got a lot more stability."

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