NEWCASTLE United are back on the trail of Paris Saint Germain striker Mevlüt Erdinç as they widen their January remit to include a forward.
United are understood to have initiated contact with the Turkey international – who was a long-term target in the summer – after being made aware he is eager to leave the Ligue 1 side.
He is keen to discuss a move to England, although United would only want to take the transfer further if he is valued at a significantly lower price than the £7million PSG were looking for in the summer transfer window.
Although it was widely reported at the time Erdinç had turned down Newcastle, The Journal understands it was a breakdown in negotiations between the player’s representatives and United which scuppered their chances of brokering a transfer before August 31. United’s priority remains landing a centre-half in the transfer window but, despite Alan Pardew publicly closing the door on bringing in a striker back in December, the club are keeping their options open.
Erdinç is one of a few targets but United sources refused to rule out a move for the 24-year-old, heavily scouted before the Magpies tried to lure him to St James’ Park in the close season.
They also have domestic targets and have maintained a watching brief on Huddersfield’s man of the moment Jordan Rhodes – but a deal to bring him to Tyneside is not close.
The Terriers do not want to sell and, with West Ham having seen a bid of £4million turned down, he may be beyond the price United are willing to pay.
In addition, senior sources at the Galpharm are briefing the player will not be sold in January, as he holds the key to Huddersfield’s promotion chances.
Rhodes will be sold to a Premier League club in the summer but the ex-Ipswich man is content to sit tight and repay the loyalty shown in him by the Terriers.
Although talk Newcastle are poised to bring in a striker will heighten fears about Demba Ba’s future, The Journal understands any incoming striker will not be a replacement for their Senegal star.
Speculation surrounding Ba was sparked by Harry Redknapp’s unhelpful comments surrounding a release clause in the forward’s contract – rumoured to be triggered by a bid of £7million.
United have neither confirmed nor denied talk of the clause, but senior board figures are furious the Tottenham boss put the subject on the agenda in the first place.
In a further twist, quotes emerged last night from a member of Demba Ba’s management team, Armand Doorn, claiming Manchester United were monitoring the player’s availability.
However, The Journal understands there has been absolutely no contact with any club regards Ba.
The club remain relaxed about the situation – and about Ba’s intentions, with the striker keen to stay at Newcastle. Yet they may be forced to to thrash out a new deal for Ba, whose current deal is heavily incentivised.
The player may be looking for more security and might argue he is entitled to an improved contract after a scintillating start which has seen him hit 15 goals.
He admitted over the weekend he would like to play for PSG one day, but there have been no bids and United will not welcome interest in him.
Pardew dodged questions about the striker’s future after Saturday’s defeat of Blackburn in the FA Cup.
The Magpies remain keen on James Tomkins of West Ham, yet to sign a new deal at Upton Park, but will wait until the summer to decide whether to move for Brighton’s Lewis Dunk and Sheffield United’s Harry Maguire.
Meanwhile, United had Abdelhakim Omrani, 19 of Racing Lens, on trail last month. An attacking midfielder with a France under-19 cap, he has also been on trial at Bayern Munich.
Newcastle are yet to offer him terms, and it appears as if their attentions will be focused elsewhere this January.