NEWCASTLE United have turned down an audacious £3m bid for captain Kevin Nolan from West Ham United.
Sources in London confirmed that the Hammers made a surprise swoop for the Magpies skipper last night only to be knocked back by owner Mike Ashley.
New West Ham boss Sam Allardyce was keen to be reunited with Nolan, having made the midfielder his captain at Bolton Wanderers.
But the failed United manager has been told he must up his bid for a player that Newcastle paid £4m for in January 2009 if he wants to bring him to Upton Park.
It was revealed last week that Nolan was set to turn down the new deal offered to him by Ashley, something which was confirmed over the weekend.
It came hard on the heels from the revelation that Joey Barton’s contract talks have also stalled, with the midfielder having only a year left on his present deal.
The Scouse duo have been hugely influential for Newcastle in the last two seasons, first helping the club win the Championship and then steering the Magpies to Premier League safety.
Nolan, who will turn 29 next month, has two years left on his current deal, and is keen to remain on Tyneside to see out the peak years of his career - as is Barton.
But United appear unwilling to have players in the 30-plus bracket on long contracts, meaning Nolan may have to take a substantial pay cut if he wants to stay at St James’s Park.
Yet with United seemingly unwilling to have players in the 30 plus bracket on long contracts, it appears that Nolan’s hopes of a long-term deal are slim unless he is prepared to take a pay cut.
That has alerted Allardyce, who is looking to guide West Ham back into the top flight at the first attempt, and he is hoping to link-up again with a player who played a crucial role in helping transform Bolton from a Championship play-off outfit into European material.