AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - FEBRUARY 16: Vurnon Anita (L) of Ajax Amsterdam duels for the ball with Tom Cleverley of Manchester United during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg match between Ajax and Manchester United at Amsterdam Arena on February 16, 2012 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Newcastle United may have agreed a fee on Sunday with Ajax on defensive midfielder and occasional wing back Vurnon Anita, according to several media outlets, including ESPN Soccernet (of course, quotes contained within the story only suggest a deal is "close," so inject some sodium in your diet). However, Sky Tyne & Wear is reporting that "sources" (including an unnamed Dutch journalist, apparently) have debunked the reports, suggesting that either there's a hang-up on personal terms, or that perhaps the clubs haven't come to an agreement on a number after all.
If there is truth to the initial reports and it turns out that Anita is Newcastle-bound, speculation will begin (and in fact, has already begun) that a corresponding sale, possibly involving Cheik Tiote is in the works. Tiote has been linked with several clubs, including Chelsea, seemingly since he arrived on Tyneside, so there is reason to doubt the veracity of these rumors. Toon fans will hope that the 23 year-old Anita is more of a Danny Guthrie replacement, intended to provide depth, than he is a 1:1 swap for the more experienced and talented Tiote. No player seems to be untouchable in the Alan Pardew era, of course, so the possiblity that the other shoe will drop is certainly not a phantom one.
More on this situation as it develops.
UPDATE (1946 BST): An unsourced quote from Anita is making the rounds saying that terms have been agreed and that he and club are working on wages, but I can't seem to find the origin of this quote. Make of it what you will.
UPDATE (2332 BST): The Daily Mail is reporting that Anita is being flown into Newcastle for a medical after the teams agreed a £6.2 million fee.