PSV EINDHOVEN striker Ola Toivonen was yesterday heavily linked with a possible move to St James’ Park.
Well-informed sources in Holland told The Journal that representatives of the highly-rated Swede have already spoken to the Magpies regarding the possibility of him moving to Tyneside this summer.
But no bid has yet been forthcoming from Newcastle or anyone else for the goalscorer who helped his side win the Dutch Cup last season.
Toivonen, who played against England in Euro 2012, has said he will almost certainly leave Dutch football before the start of next season and would cost Newcastle around the £5million mark if they were to make a serious offer.
But United, as is the case with all their signing targets, will need to battle it out with some other big clubs for his signature.
Sunderland, ironically, have also been mentioned with a player who turns 26 next week along with a number of clubs such as Russian sides Rubin Kazan and Lokomotiv Moscow, along with Fiorentina of Serie A.
Toivonen, who is contracted until 2014, has stated that he wanted to leave PSV during this transfer window and the club’s troubled financial state means they are not in a position to hold out for anything like the £8.5milion fee that was been spoken about six months ago.
He said: “If PSV want to earn some money by selling me, then now is the time to sell me. If I am not sold, then the chances are that I will not be leaving for the next two years
“If something interesting comes along, I will look into it. There are rumours, but I have learned to live with them. I don’t know which clubs are really interested.”
Toivonen, who can also play in an
attacking midfield role, was signed by PSV three years ago from Malmo and has since established himself as one of the best and most consistent players in Dutch football.
In 76 Eredivisie matches, he scored 35 goals and set up many more. He has also become one of Sweden’s key players since making his international debut in 1997, scoring six goals from his 26 caps for his country so far.
At 6ft 2in he would bring strength as well as a deft touch to the Newcastle forward line. PSV, once Holland’s richest club, have been battling money problems for a couple of years. And, while they are now on a more secure footing and Dick Advocaat has agreed to be head coach for next season, they will find it difficult to fight off clubs such as Newcastle making a move for their best players.
Much will depend on whether Demba Ba decides to stay or leave; he will speak to manager Alan Pardew on July 5.
Meanwhile, it is understood that the hitch in Fraser Forster’s expected move to Celtic is that the club want the keeper to sign a four-year contract, while the player prefers a three-year deal.
l NEWCASTLE will play Monaco on July 16, in Landsberg, Germany, the French club last night confirmed.