Newcastle defender Jonathan Woodgate has arrived in Spain to complete his move to Real Madrid.
The 24-year-old defender has been negotiating personal terms with the Spanish club and will provided he passes a medical, he will seal a £13.4m move.
Woodgate, who has suffered a succession of injuries in thelast 18 months, has played just 23 league games for the Magpies since his £9m move from Leeds in January 2003.
The most recent problem has been a ruptured thigh muscle which has kept him out of action since last April.
But Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd said: “He’s fitter than me. He’ll get through it.”
But asked if he was concerned about the injury issue, Shepherd said: “No, not really. But if he comes back that is great. We’ll welcome him back.
“You can’t blame the lad. Real Madrid are the biggest club in the world. You’ve got to look to his side sometimes and see the other point of view.
“Usually we are a buying club not a selling club but the money never came into it. I know it’s a lot of money but it never came into it.”
Woodgate’s agents, SFX, who also represent Owen said they are confident the deal will go through.
“We are very hopeful that we can agree terms and the deal will go through,” said an SFX spokesperson.
“If agreed it will be a period of great business with Michael Owen and Jonathan at one of the world’s greatest clubs.”
Newcastle boss Sir Bobby Robson admitted that the club could not refuse the offer.
“It’s a huge offer, the club had to consider it. At his best, he’s the best centre-half in the country.
“It’s a huge opportunity for him, to play with the likes of David Beckham, Michael Owen and Luis Figo. Do we deny him that opportunity? There’s a moral issue here.
“He has a medical to pass, that’s first and foremost. Players do fail medicals.”