Sam Allardyce could barely contain his delight at sealing the signing of Jose Enrique.
Big Sam hails Enrique arrival
Sam Allardyce could barely contain his delight at sealing the signing of Jose Enrique, under the noses of Premier League rivals Liverpool and Manchester City.
A hectic weekend of negotiations concluded with Enrique agreeing a £4.2million move to St James' Park, with the Villarreal defender having concurred on a five-year deal.
Allardyce was already in Spain negotiating a move for Sevilla defender Ivica Dragutinovic, when he was given the green light to move for the highly-rated Enrique.
"When we get Enrique signed it will finalise an excellent few days for us," he told the Evening Chronicle.
"In Enrique we have signed a player who has huge potential at a very good age and who has already broken into the first team at Villarreal.
"Either our chief operating officer Russell Cushing or chairman Chris Mort got a phone call which said the player was available.
"I asked the price and said 'go' and they went. And in 24 hours he was here.
"Russell Cushing and Chris Mort are the reasons Enrique is signing for us rather than Liverpool or Manchester City."
Despite having now bolstered his ranks with Enrique's imminent signing, Allardyce has no plans to shelve his move for Dragutinovic.
"As far as Dragutinovic is concerned, if it is still a possibility then I will try and pursue it this week."