BOLTON Wanderers have put a £3.5m price tag on Newcastle United target Mark Davies.
The 24-year-old is one of the players the Magpies are looking at with Danny Guthrie leaving this summer.
The cultured midfielder is out of contract in June.
Manager Alan Pardew had long since accepted that whatever offer was made to Guthrie, he would be leaving.
The former Liverpool product believes he is good enough to be a first-choice Premier League player, and has been frustrated at his lack of opportunities.
Even without Guthire’s departure, Pardew needed to bolster all departments of his squad this summer ahead of a first campaign in the Europa League. The Magpies’ impressive scouting network has been scattered far and wide in the search for recruits, but Bolton’s Davies is one they are understood to be monitoring.
Clubs will be scouring the sides relegated from the Premier League last season, and debt-laden Bolton look there for the taking.
The Trotters have 12 out-of-contract players, limiting the scope to bring money in to soften the huge financial blow of relegation.
However, they insist most of their estimated £100m debt is to the club’s benefactor Eddie Davies, who is neither charging interest nor demanding instant repayment.
Anxious not to be taken for a ride, they are understood to have put a £3.5m price tag on Davies. Having missed the start of the season with a broken ankle in Newcastle’s opening pre-season friendly at Darlington, Guthrie performed well in the absence of Yohan Cabaye and Cheick Tioté. But once both were fit again (and, in Tioté’s case, back from the African Cup of Nations), they were automatically reunited, much to Guthrie’s undisguised disappointment.
Signed by Kevin Keegan in 2008, he confirmed the inevitable by tweeting: “Massive thank you to all Toon fans. It’s been great but I have to be playing first-team football. The Toon will always be in my heart.”
Injuries prevented Guthrie from playing much part in his debut season as Newcastle were relegated from the top flight. But he was an integral part of the side which made amends by winning the Championship 12 months later.
Four Newcastle players have been called up for end-of-season internationals.
Tioté is due to play in two World Cup qualifiers for African Cup of Nations runners-up Ivory Coast. They face Tanzania on June 2, and Tioté’s season will finish a week later with a trip to Morocco.
First, the Elephants have a friendly a week today. Their opponents are yet to be decided.
Papiss Cissé and Demba Ba have been named in the Senegal squad to face Egypt in Marrakech on Thursday.
Senegal are in disarray after coach Pierre Lechantre stepped down last week, a fortnight after being appointed, in a contract dispute.
Predecessor Amara Traoré was sacked after a dismal display at the African Cup of Nations in January. A squad featuring Magpies strikers Cissé and Ba failed to qualify from their group.
Senegal have World Cup qualifiers against Liberia and Uganda next month.
Hungarian Tamas Kadar is in his country’s squad for two June friendlies, against Euro 2012 finalists Czech Republic and Republic of Ireland. The defender did not make a first-team appearance for Newcastle this season.