Aubameyang still Newcastle United’s top target

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PIERRE-Emerick Aubameyang remains Newcastle United’s top transfer target – despite St Etienne’s sky-high valuation of the striker.

The Magpies were reported to have had a £15million bid for the Gabon forward rejected yesterday.

But it is understood that while Newcastle have been in talks with St Etienne, they are yet to put in a formal offer for Aubameyang.

Instead, they have asked the French outfit to keep them in the loop regarding bids for the in-demand striker, with St Etienne hoping to get around £16m for their star player.

Newcastle are unlikely to spend that much on the African, and will wait and see what develops from other interested clubs.

Aubameyang – who has also been linked with Tottenham, Monaco and AC Milan – is believed to want to play Champions League football next season, but that won’t put the Magpies off either.

The 23-year-old remains their main strike target, although they are considering other alternatives.

However, one of them is not Andre-Pierre Gignac. The Marseille forward was linked with a £12m move to Newcastle yesterday, but is not a target.

The 6ft 1in French international is described as a British-style forward, but the it is understood that he is not on the Magpies’ radar.

United have also been linked with Vitesse forward Wilfried Bony, but are understood to have dropped their interest in the Ivorian, who could be on his way to Swansea City.

Chief scout Graham Carr and new director of football Joe Kinnear have had a number of meetings this week aimed at progressing Newcastle’s transfer dealings.

And while the foreign market still remains an attraction to the club, they haven’t ruled out buying closer to home this summer.