Rafa Benitez’s chase of rising Chelsea star Tammy Abraham could hasten the exit of Newcastle United frontmen Daryl Murphy and Aleksandar Mitrovic.
The Magpies have “every chance” of landing 19-year-old Abraham, according to sources close to the Bristol City loanee, who netted a remarkable 26 goals for the Robins last season.
And Newcastle are confident that a season-long loan deal can be brokered for over the weekend, with Abraham in line to become the club’s second signing of the summer from the Blues, following on from Christian Atsu’s £6.2million switch last month.
The Tynesiders have spoken direct with the player, in a bid to convince him that St James’s Park would be the perfect next step in his career.
Abraham’s goals this season, 23 of which came in the Championship, have placed a number of clubs on high alert.
Brighton, who Benitez’s men pipped to the second tier title on the final day of the season, are credited with an interest, so too are 2015/16 Premier League champions Leicester City.
But Newcastle are in pole position, due in no small part to Benitez’s close working relationship with Stamford Bridge technical director Michael Emenalo.
Newcastle, who will pay Abraham’s rumoured £25,000-per-week wage in full, are keen to add at least one new striker to the club’s ranks this summer, with Benitez potentially eyeing two new faces up top.
And young, hungry Abraham fits the bill perfectly.
The move could well pave the way for a departure in the United forward line.
At 34, Daryl Murphy is a player who may be allowed to depart, with Championship interest growing for the Republic of Ireland international.
Murphy was a more than reliable stand in for top-scorer Dwight Gayle when called upon this season – netting five goals in seven second-tier starts.
And for much of the latter part of the season he was the player Benitez turned to, rather than Mitrovic.
Mitrovic is a player whose future is also uncertain.
The former Anderlecht man failed to build on a decent first campaign in black and white, scoring just four goals in the Championship.
Back in April, Mitrovic threw his United future into doubt, claiming a decision on where he would play his football next season was in the hands of his representatives.
When asked whether he wants to stay, 22-year-old Mitrovic replied: “Hopefully.
“We have to finish these two games, then I have the international team and then I will go on vacation.
“I will leave this to my father and my brother to see.
“I hope so. I’m happy here, but we’ll see.”
When asked to clarify his position and to confirm whether conversations had already taken place with the club or manager Benitez, he added: “Not yet – we are really focused to finish this season in the way we want and the way we started. Then I will go on vacation,
“It’s a really long year for me, so I need a vacation, I need to rest from football and from everything.”
Mitrovic has been linked with a move away from the club constantly over the last 12 months, with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain said to have considered signing him in the January window.
And with his first-team chances limited in the Championship this campaign, due to the goalscoring form of Gayle, that talk has only heightened towards the end of the season.