Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur have been dealt a blow in their alleged pursuit of Jamaal Lascelles and Karl Darlow after it emerged the Nottingham Forest pair are set to undergo medicals with Newcastle United.
The Daily Express reports how the Championship duo have attracted widespread interest from the Premier League, but could be loaned back to the City Ground for the 2014/15 campaign to help Stuart Pearce's bid for promotion back to the top-flight.
Magpies boss Alan Pardew is keen to secure the futures of the highly rated defender and goalkeeper before their valuations and reputations rise any further, and looks to have beaten a host of rival suitors to their signatures.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has been credited with an interest in both players, though his courting of 23-year-old Darlow came prior to the north London club's capture of Colombian keeper David Ospina, who arrived at the Emirates Stadium from Nice in a £3.2 million deal last week.
Arsenal were on the lookout for a new custodian to challenge Wojciech Szczesny for the No.1 spot following Lukasz Fabianski's free transfer departure to Swansea City earlier this summer, and opted for the South American stopper following his impressive showing at the World Cup.
Like Wenger, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has a good reputation for nurturing and developing up-and-coming talent, and was keen on the idea of bringing both Darlow and 20-year-old Lascelles to Anfield ahead of the new season.
However, his attempts to lure the pair to Merseyside looks to have failed following news of their imminent medicals at St James' Park.
Mauricio Pochettino is another coach famed for entrusting burgeoning young players after his successful spell at Southampton, and has brought the same philosophy with him to White Hart Lane after taking the Spurs job in June.
Tottenham's interest in the promising Nottingham Forest duo is no coincidence in the aftermath of the Argentine's arrival, but like Arsenal and Liverpool they too are set to miss out on both individuals.
Crucial to the prospective Newcastle deal is the fact that the Magpies are willing to let both players return to Nottingham Forest on season-long loans, with Pearce keen not to lose two key first-team stars so close to the start of the new campaign.
Darlow made 43 appearances last season while Lascelles turned out 27 times in the Championship, and will both play important roles during the club's promotion bid in 2014/15.
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