Ola Toivonen is stalling over a new PSV Eindhoven contract, which is sure to catch the attention of long-term suitors Newcastle United.
The 27-year-old attacking midfielder is in negotiations to extend a deal which expires at the end of the season.
According to his agent Mino Raiola, they will have to increase their offer if they want to keep the player.
His comments raise the possibility Newcastle could sign the Swedish international for free next summer, or that they could pull off a repeat of one of last winter’s signings.
“He is very far from renewing his contract with PSV,” Raiola, also the agent of Vurnon Anita, told Voetbal international.
“We are at a key moment for the future of the player. The offer from PSV is good but insufficient.
“It has to be enhanced for the quality of this player.”
Owner Mike Ashley has always been keen to find value in the transfer market and last year he wrote a £2.5m cheque for another attacking midfielder Moussa Sissoko.
The Frenchman was initially used in the No.10 role where Toivonen has been playing this season, but has now found a home on the right side of midfield.
If PSV choose to cut their losses in January, Toivonen could be available for a similar fee.
While his contract extension remains unsigned he is free to discuss a pre-contract agreement with interested clubs from January.
While Newcastle are not in the perilous position they found themselves in this time last year, there is still good reason to make an early move for Toivonen.
Norwich City, Aston Villa, Fulham, Fiorentina and Juventus are all thought to be interested, so Newcastle risk losing out on the player if they sit on their hands, something Raiola will be acutely aware of when he sits at the negotiating table.
Toivonen has long been linked with the Premier League, and Newcastle in particular.
The continuing uncertainty over Yohan Cabaye’s future means the Magpies must plan for life without him. Although Cabaye’s quotes about missing European football appear to have been misconstrued, his willingness to go on strike at the start of the season to force a move away suggests he is not at St James’ Park for the long haul.
While not a like-for-like replacement for the more creative Frenchman, Toivonen, who can also play as a striker, would fill that hole in the team were Cabaye to leave.
If not, there is no reason why the pair could not play together.
Toivonen has scored 60 goals in 136 appearances for his club, and six in 35 for Sweden.
Meanwhile, Sissoko has tried to allay fears his international team-mate Cabaye is angling for a move.
Cabaye told a French radio station he was determined to play his best for Newcastle this season to try and get them back into Europe and to secure his place in France’s World Cup team.
Many interpreted that as a hint he would leave for a club who are playing in either the Europa or Champions League.
Sissoko has been quick to downplay it.
He said: “I’m happy here. I like the club, the city and the fans.”
The powerful midfielder believes the unity within the Magpies squad could propel them to a higher finish than the board’s more modest top-ten ambition.
The 24-year-old, whose team have moved up to eighth on the back of three straight wins, added: “When we play together, it’s easier,.
“If we work hard every week, I think when the season finishes Newcastle could be in the top seven or eight.”
Manager Alan Pardew will have a difficult decision to make at home to West Bromwich Albion at the weekend.
Mathieu Debuchy has been in good form, but Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa deputised when the right-back was suspended against Norwich. Yanga-Mbiwa’s versatility means any of Saturday’s back four could make way for Debuchy.