NEWCASTLE United are stepping up their transfer activity – and remain hopeful of announcing two signings before the World Cup starts, writes ROSS GREGORY.
The Magpies have moved into pole position to sign Jack Colback after his Sunderland contract expires this month.
And they have all but completed a £1.8million deal to land promising Tenerife striker Ayoze Perez.
But that looks like just being the start of an overhaul of the Newcastle squad, with manager Alan Pardew hoping to add at least two more forwards and a creative midfielder to his ranks.
Remy Cabella remains the preferred choice for the latter position, but, with Montpellier president Louis Nicollin adopting a tough stance over the fee, talks have stalled over the French international.
The Magpies have other targets, including Ajax midfielder Siem de Jong, the older brother of Luuk, who spent the second half of last season on loan at St James’s Park.
Dutch international Siem admitted yesterday that Newcastle have been in contact with his agent, and that he is unsure where he will be playing next season.
“I really do not know what I’ll do next season,” he said. “I have spoken with the club but nothing is sorted.
“Also with Newcastle United, where my brother played last time, they have had a little contact with my agent.
“There was contact before, but it’s nothing concrete. Newcastle is a great club and it would be super to work with my brother and play football.”
“I do not know if he’ll be there. He is employed by Borussia Mönchengladbach, and has not received a contract offer from Newcastle.
“I’m going next week to talk to Ajax and then I’ll see.”
Newcastle will not be offering Luuk de Jong a return to Tyneside after he failed to score in his five-month loan spell, even though they are desperate for striking reinforcements.
Leeds United striker Ross McCormack is a target, with Newcastle having made contact with the Elland Road club earlier this week over a potential deal.
Burnley hotshot Danny Ings has also been watched by Graham Carr’s scouting team, with the forward only having 12 months left on his contract with the Premier League new boys.