Leon Best

By Craig Hope

NEWCASTLE United have completed the deadline-day signing of Leon Best for an undisclosed fee from Coventry City.

The Republic of Ireland international has penned a three-and-a-half-year deal with The Magpies and will take the No.20 squad number.

Best has already netted ten times from 26 starts this season and was part of the Sky Blues side beaten 2-0 by United at the Ricoh Arena in December.

Nottingham born, the pacey frontman started his career at Southampton and made his senior debut on his 18th birthday against Newcastle - United 2-1 victors at the St.Mary's Stadium back in 2004.

During three years on the South Coast Best also enjoyed loan spells at Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield Wednesday, Bournemouth and Yeovil Town.

A move to Coventry followed in the summer of 2007 and he bagged nine goals during his maiden campaign with Iain Dowie's men.

Best's international bow came at the end of last season during a friendly with Nigeria and he has gone on to earn five caps.

He is re-united with former Southampton team-mates Fitz Hall and Mike Williamson, as well as Patrick van Aanholt who was on loan at Coventry earlier this year.