Matt Targett has expressed his happiness after signing for Newcastle on a permanent basis. The left-back spent the second half of last season on loan at St James’ Park from Aston Villa and played his part in keeping the Magpies in the Premier League with 16 appearances for Eddie Howe’s side, who eventually finished 11th. Targett has now agreed a four-year deal to remain on Tyneside permanently with the club’s first transfer of the summer set to cost a total of £15million, the PA news agency understands. Ex-Southampton defender Targett told the official club website: “I’m absolutely delighted to sign a four-year contract with this club. “For me, it was an easy decision to make the loan permanent after the welcome I had from my fellow players, the staff, the supporters and the owners so I’m really happy to be here.” Head coach Howe talked up the impact Targett had after his January arrival. “Matt had a fantastic impact after joining on loan in January and made a big contribution to some excellent team performances,” he added. “He is a great lad and a top professional who undoubtedly makes us stronger so I’m delighted he sees his future here.” The club are also in ongoing talks over Reims striker Hugo Ekitike – one of the players they chased during the January transfer window. That deal would be considerably more expensive, with reports suggesting the 19-year-old could cost the club’s 80 per cent Saudi-backed owners up to £36million plus add-ons. Amanda Staveley’s consortium invested around £94million in a January spending spree which helped Howe guide his team to Premier League safety, but the head coach has repeatedly warned fans not to expect massive investment this summer as the hierarchy attempts to comply with profit and sustainability regulations. The arrival of new sporting director Dan Ashworth has sparked a flurry of activity at St James’ Park, with midfielder Isaac Hayden joining Norwich on a season-long loan deal with a performance-related obligation to buy on Tuesday, the first of a series of expected departures to make way for newcomers.