Newcastle United's new boss Sam Allardyce has clinched the signing of Chelsea utility player Geremi as he continues to build a competitive squad for the new Premiership season.

Subject to being awarded a work permit, the 28-year-old will join the Magpies on a free transfer after passing a medical and agreeing a three-year deal.

A Newcastle spokesman said: "Geremi has passed a medical and agreed personal terms with the Magpies, and will arrive on a free transfer from Chelsea on a three-year contract once his work permit has been obtained."

Geremi becomes Sam Allardyce's fourth summer signing after the arrivals of Mark Viduka, Joey Barton and David Rozehnal.

He began his career in his native Cameroon with Racing Baffousam and arrived in Europe when he was signed by Turkish side Genclerbirligi after a short spell in Paraguay with Cerro Porteno.

His big break came when he was snapped up by Spanish giants Real Madrid in 1999, although he managed only 45 appearances before joining Middlesbrough on a season's loan in July 2002.

His successful spell at the Riverside Stadium, where he was voted player of the year, helped earn him move to Chelsea in August 2003.

But he has struggled to command a regular place in Jose Mourinho's starting line-up, and while he made 28 senior appearances last season, the lure of greater opportunities at St James' Park proved too much to resist.