Newcastle United are closing on a transfer-window breakthrough – but Alexandre Lacazette will not be moving to St James’s Park.
Reports in France yesterday claimed that the relegation-threatened Tynesiders had bid £19million for long-time target Lacazette.
But Lyon are unwilling to sell the striker in this month’s window.
While the Magpies’ interest in Lacazette is well-known, Newcastle did not make a formal bid for the 24-year-old France international.
Newcastle – who have an interest in taking Chelsea’s Loic Remy on a half-season loan – will have to look elsewhere for the experienced goalscorer that head coach Steve McClaren feels he needs to beef up his squad.
McClaren has only one fit out-and-out striker available ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Watford – summer signing Aleksandar Mitrovic – though Ayoze Perez and Siem de Jong can also play up front.
Newcastle have gone three Premier League games without a goal, and McClaren – who has refused to publicly talk about the window – is acutely aware that it will be his team’s goalscoring between now and the end of the campaign which will determine the club’s fate.
However, the black and whites’ options are limited, and of those available, Remy is arguably the most attractive proposition.
Chelsea are willing to loan out Remy – who spent the 2013-14 campaign on loan at St James’s Park – for the rest of the season.
Remy, for his part, cannot afford to spend the of the campaign on the bench if he is to make the France squad for Euro 2016, in his home country.
But the 29-year-old will want to assess all his options before making a decision on his short-term future.
Another option, albeit an expensive one, is West Ham’s former Newcastle striker Andy Carroll, who could be available for £18million.
However, the cost of falling out of the Premier League this season is far greater given that a new multi-billion pound TV deal kicks in next term, and there is a strong case for signing not one but two strikers to help boost the chances of survival.
Newcastle defender Mike Williamson is attracting interest from Sheffield Wednesday, with reports of a £250,000 bid being enough to seal a deal.