Newcastle tell West Brom to name their price for Saido Berahino

HITC Sport understands that England striker is now number one priority for The Magpies.

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has given the green light for the club to step up their interest in Saido Berahino, HITC Sport understands.

Newcastle are still keen on a winger, with Andros Townsend top of their list, and a left-back, with PSV Eindhoven's Jetro Willems their preferred choice, but it is a new striker that is at the top of their agenda.

And they have returned to Berahino - who they tried to sign in the summer. HITC Sport understands that Newcastle have had verbal contact with West Brom, to try and ascertain the Baggies asking price, which was believed to be around £25million.

Despite the sizeable price-tag, Ashley has approved the spending - despite having already spent nearly £20million this month on Jonjo Shelvey and Henri Saivet, following on from the summer when they laid out around £50million.

Newcastle have always insisted they will do a deal for a player if that is right. They have been strongly linked with Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette - but club sources have insisted that they were made aware more than 12-months ago that he did not want to move to St James' Park.

The same cannot be said of Berahino, who was close to joining Tottenham in the summer, and whilst Spurs remain interested, they were not willing to meet WBA chief Jeremy Peace's asking price last year and that has not changed, which gives Newcastle the advantage as they are.

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