Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has emerged as Newcastle United's top attacking transfer target this summer but, although the 24-year-old St-Etienne striker appears to favour a move to Tyneside, he would cost around £15m and has several suitors.
Aubameyang, a Gabon international, has been tracked by Newcastle for at least the past year and has spoken of them as "a good club" with a "monumental stadium". Although Aubameyang also says he has his heart set on a move to England, matters are complicated by interest from Guus Hiddink's super-rich Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala and has also been watched regularly by Paris St-Germain, Atlético Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur.
Newcastle have distanced themselves from reports in France that they have made a £25m double bid for Aubameyang and his highly rated 18-year-old central defensive St-Etienne team-mate Kurt Zouma but, with their one-time target Wilfried Bony on the point of joining Swansea City from Vitesse Arnhem, their interest in Aubameyang remains real.
Aston Villa's Darren Bent remains another forward high on Alan Pardew's shopping list. Yet although the West Ham United centre-half James Tomkins and the Norwich City winger Anthony Pilkington have also been identified as targets, Newcastle appear to be modifying rather than abandoning their once strict recruitment policy of importing good value players, usually aged under 26, from abroad.
Joe Kinnear, Newcastle's director of football said: "We will look abroad again. I've been palling up with Graham Carr [the chief scout] and we will go abroad. We will go to everywhere in Europe looking at matches. We will scour the length and breadth of Europe to find what we want.
"I'm not saying, 'Hey, let's go and get Ronaldo and Messi', but each night I will be going to matches. We will go elsewhere to try to open the doors on new signings."
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