Newcastle United step up Mevlut Erdinc chase

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NEWCASTLE United’s players reported back for pre-season training today as boss Alan Pardew stepped up his bid for Mevlut Erdinc.

The Magpies are still in the hunt for a new striker, and Turkish international Erdinc remains at the top of Pardew’s hit list.

Reports in France yesterday claimed Newcastle had tabled a fresh £6.75million offer for the Paris St Germain ace, but a number of obstacles need to be cleared if the forward is to be playing in black and white stripes at the start of the season.

PSG are waiting on the arrival of former Inter Milan boss Leonardo as their sporting director before sanctioning any departures.

And while Erdinc himself is understood to be ready to quit the French giants, after they pipped Newcastle to the signing of striker Kevin Gameiro, he is understood to be keen on a move to Turkish side Galatasaray, believing the move would help him establish himself in the national side.

United were today also linked with a move for 20-year-old midfielder Sergio Canales, with Pardew looking to add at least one more player to his squad before they jet off to America on a pre-season tour on July 17.

Newcastle today began their preparations for the new season, with the manager determined they will be ready for the visit of Arsenal in the August 13 season-opener.

“Pre-season is a planned programme which will involve the balls and a lot of football,” he said.

“It will all be designed to gear ourselves up for that first competitive 11-a-side against Arsenal in six weeks’ time.

“I can’t wait. I’m sure the Newcastle fans will be bored of the cricket and tennis by now, and will be desperate for us to get back into action and show them our new wares.”

H Atletico Madrid are reportedly poised to bid for QPR star Adel Taarabt, with an £11million bid set to be lodged. Paris St Germain are also keen on the former Spurs man, having offered £9m.

H Charlton are ready to sign Sheffield Wednesday defender Michael Morrison for £150,000.

H Sheffield United midfielder Matty Lowton is the subject of a £300,000 bid from Blackpool.

H West Ham want free agent former Bolton left-back Jlloyd Samuel.