NEWCASTLE United are ready to dump their interest in Lille’s Ivory Coast striker Gervinho – and instead tie up a double striking swoop for Paris St Germain ace Mevlut Erdinc and West Ham’s Demba Ba.
Magpies boss Alan Pardew has been busy looking to reinforce his striking options, and has admitted keeping tabs on Turkey international Erdinc.
The 25-year-old has been on United’s radar for a year now, with former manager Chris Hughton making a bid for his services last summer.
And with Pardew’s interest in Gervinho cooling, and missing out on first-choice signing Kevin Gameiro, he has quickly turned his attention back to Erdinc.
The centre-forward is available for around £8m, ironically being allowed to leave the Parc des Princes after PSG completed a £10 move for Gameiro at the weekend.
Pardew admitted: “Erdinc has always been on our radar. He’s a very good player, and that is all I will say.
“We had a bit of disappointment with Kevin Gameiro as he had decided to go elsewhere. We made a fantastic offer to the club and to him, but these things happen.
“We tried very hard on that one, but we always knew there would be setbacks along the way, and we have always had other people in mind, deals we have been trying to keep to ourselves for obvious reasons.
“We are working extremely hard to make those deals happen, and I’m pretty happy with how things have gone so far.
“We should have another signing finished in the next few days, and we will be able to confirm that one as well.”
That signing may be West Ham striker Ba. While any deal for Erdinc may be a little way off, talks are at an advanced stage with the Senagal international, though Newcastle face stiff competition from Fiorentina and Everton.
But the Magpies privately remain confident in completing the capture of the 26-year-old on a free transfer.
Pardew said: “Demba Ba has done very well since he came to England, and he’s a good player.
“I’m very much aware of him, and I probably know what he is capable of more than most because I’ve known about him for a while, before he went to West Ham. We’re not the only club who are interested, but we are trying. There is always competition, and we will keep plugging away.”
However Gervinho will not be coming to Tyneside. The £10million-rated forward has been a long-standing Toon target and he has been heavily linked with a switch to St James’s Park this summer.
But it is understood that far from reports claming that Gervinho doesn’t want to move to Tyneside, the truth is that United aren’t sold on the striker.
The club have met Gervinho to discuss a potential move but he did not impress senior figures at the club in those initial discussions.