Newcastle United will switch their focus to Bas Dost after West Ham moved into pole position to sign Charlie Austin.
Austin has long been the Magpies’ top target this summer as they look to increase their firepower.
But West Ham are also interested in the QPR frontman and are now favourites to tie up a deal worth up to £15million.
Some bookmakers stopped taking bets on the 25-year-old moving across London to Upton Park after a flurry of wagers on the deal over the weekend.
Newcastle are not completely out of the running yet and new head coach Steve McClaren is still hopeful that he can persuade Austin – who he worked with while on the staff at QPR – to switch to Tyneside.
However, the Tynesiders first need to agree a fee, and they appear to be unwilling to go beyond £10million for a player who scored 18 goals in a relegation season for QPR.
The Hoops value Austin, who was called into the England squad at the end of the season, at closer to £15m, a price that West Ham appear willing to meet. If the Magpies do miss out on Austin they will switch attention to Wolfsburg striker Dost, who is also on their shortlist.
Newcastle believe they can get the Dutchman for around £9m, with the player believed to be unsettled at the Bundesliga side despite bagging 20 goals last season. However, they face competition for the 26-year-old, with Dortmund and Inter Milan also linked with him.
Wolfsburg technical director Klaus Alloffs said: “There is currently no single bid received for Dost.”
Newcastle may look at the Bundisliga for defensive reinforcements also, with the Magpies linked with a £7million move for Schalke centre-half Joel Matip, who has 12 months left on his contract.