New Newcastle United boss Steve McClaren could get one over former club Derby County – by beating the Rams to the signature of Tom Ince.
It is understood that winger Ince is back on Newcastle’s radar as McClaren looks to make an instant impact on the transfer market after his arrival as head coach.
McClaren worked with Ince last season at Derby, where the on-loan attacker helped revive his career with 11 goals in 18 games.
New Derby boss Paul Clement – who replaced McClaren at the Championship club – had hoped to seal a permanent deal for the 23-year-old Hull City player, who only has one year left on his Tigers contract.
The Rams are prepared to break their transfer record for the £5million-rated star, but McClaren is weighing up a bid for Ince, who was first linked with Newcastle two years ago.
The Magpies are targeting three British players, and Ince fits the bill along with QPR striker Charlie Austin.
Transfer plans are already at an advanced stage, with targets having been identified by McClaren and chief scout Graham Carr.
The duo go into the summer armed with a substantial transfer kitty, as owner Mike Ashley looks set to release the purse strings in a bid to get Newcastle back up the Premier League table after their flirt with relegation, and McClaren believes the “time is right” for investment.
He said: “You need a good recruitment policy, good players coming together and the timing has to be right, and I believe it is right now.
“They are the objectives. I will talks to Lee Charnley, Graham Carr, get the board together, discuss the squad, what are the plans, what do we think.
“People inside this club know a lot. Then we ask how we improve on what we have got and what can we achieve.”
Meanwhile, Wolfsburg striker Bas Dost has been linked with Newcastle.
Reports in Holland claimed that McClaren has already opened talks with the player about a potential move. The 26-year-old is well-known to McClaren from his time as Twente manager, when the striker was playing in the Eredivisie with Heracles Almelo, while Carr has also watched the player in action.
However, Dost’s 20 goals last season, including a strike in helping his side win the German Cup Final, has increased his price, with Wolfsburg slapping a £15m price tag on his head.