Newcastle United linked to Jonathan Soriano as they close in on Ayoze Perez

Newcastle United have been credited with an interest in Spanish striker Jonathan Soriano and are understood to be close to finalising a deal for Tenerife forward Ayoze Perez

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images Jonathan Soriano
Jonathan Soriano

Newcastle have been credited with an interest in Spanish striker Jonathan Soriano, of Red Bull Salzburg.

The Magpies are understood to be close to finalising a deal for Tenerife forward Ayoze Perez.

The 20-year-old is out of contract next summer, with United hopeful of luring the player from the Spanish Segunda Division for a fee of around £1.5 million.

Tenerife complete their league campaign against Sporting Gijon on Saturday.

But Perez is nursing a stomach muscle injury and seems unlikely to play, leaving Newcastle confident of completing a move over the next few days.

Any such swoop for Remy Cabella would appear less imminent.

Yet despite Newcastle’s valuation of the Montpellier midfielder still falling short of his club’s – The Journal understands an £8 million bid has been rejected – sources suggest the personal terms offered by the Tyneside outfit have been met favourably by the player himself.

That said, Newcastle’s problem, other than having as yet failed to meet Montpellier’s £12 million asking price, remains the potential increase in cost should Cabella be called up as a World Cup replacement for France’s Franck Ribery, who may yet drop out of Les Blues’ squad with a back injury.

United were last night linked with a move for Brede Hangeland, after the Norwegian’s contract – which had one year left to run – was yesterday terminated by Fulham. Though both remain on long-term deals themselves, Steven Taylor and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa have been linked with QPR and Bordeaux respectively.

Fabricio Coloccini was persuaded to stay on Tyneside 12 months ago but is thought in the long term to favour a return to Argentina, while question marks remain over Mike Williamson despite a solid season just ended.

To that end, Newcastle supporters are keen to see new defensive faces arrive at the club this summer.

But a move for Hangeland would seem unlikely.

The Texan-born centre-back is 32, meaning the lack of a sell-on value makes him an ill fit with United’s transfer model.

Though three years younger, the same could be true of Soriano.

But Newcastle’s greater need of firepower following the return to QPR of loan striker Loic Remy may yet see them move for the former Espanyol and Barcelona B forward, who has 60 goals in 72 appearances for the Austrian outfit and was top scorer, with eight, in last season’s Europa League.

He has three years left on his existing contract but could be available for as little as £2 million.

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David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer