Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew did his first round of preseason interviews this week, and he admitted the club’s priority is to bring in a new striker during the summer transfer window.
Speaking to Lee Ryder in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, the Magpies’ manager emphasised their need for added firepower next term, and suggested their list of targets contains up to five forwards.
After selling Demba Ba to Chelsea in January, United relied heavily on Senegal star Papiss Cisse to supply the majority of their goals in what was a difficult campaign.
And with all eyes focusing on the season ahead, here are just five names that could help lift the burden on Cisse and end Newcastle’s search for a new front man.
Heavily linked with a move to St. James Park for some weeks now, Aston Villa striker Darren Bent is no stranger to Newcastle boss Alan Pardew, having played under him at Charlton early in his career.
The 29-year-old is also familiar with the North-East after two years in the red and white of Sunderland before his multi-million pound move to Villa Park in 2011.
Having fallen out of favour with manager Paul Lambert in the Premier League last season, the forward now cuts a lonely figure in training as well, with Luke Edwards of the Telegraph revealing the extent of his isolation.
Interest from the Magpies is well documented, but inquiries from Bundesliga side Wolfsburg, as reported by Simon Jones in the Daily Mail, could help to speed up his inevitable departure from the Midlands.
Loic Remy almost joined Newcastle United back in January, but had a last-minute change of heart and opted for a move to Premier League strugglers Queens Park Rangers instead.
With the West Londoners promptly relegated, and with a clause in his contract to counter such an eventuality, the Frenchman is now back on the Magpies’ radar as he looks for a new challenge.
His snub in the last transfer window, as reported at the time by Sky Sports, angered many on Tyneside, but the forward made an impact at Loftus Road despite the club’s obvious difficulties.
And along with Darren Bent, United boss Alan Pardew has openly admitted an interest in the former Marseille man, and said as much during an interview with Luke Edwards in the Telegraph.
Newcastle’s interest in French international Bafetimbi Gomis stretches back some five years, when a £10 million bid failed to prise the striker away from Saint-Etienne.
Despite United’s efforts, as reported by Mirror Football’s Simon Bird at the time, the forward eventually moved to Lyon for €13 million, but has endured a difficult spell at the Stade de Gerland of late.
After being linked with a summer switch away from Ligue 1, Gomis reportedly stalled on a move, and as Patrick Haond of Sky Sports reveals, the 27-year-old has subsequently been frozen out of the club’s preseason training camp.
But despite the circumstances, Gomis remains a viable target for the Magpies, and his return of 45 goals in his last two seasons in France suggest he would have plenty to offer in the Premier League.
Another France international who has prompted long-term interest from Newcastle is Kevin Gameiro, with the Paris Saint-Germain striker linked with a move to Tyneside in 2011 and again last year.
Mark Douglas at The Journal covered the story, but despite genuine interest from United, the player remained in the French capital, where he has struggled to hold down a first-team place.
PSG’s new-found millions and subsequent signings have seen Gameiro fall behind at the Parc des Princes, with the 26-year-old losing his place to the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
But as Lee Ryder reported in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle back in April this year, the forward remains a feasible option for Alan Pardew should he fail to land his top target.
In keeping with their fondness for French players, another Newcastle target this summer is Marseille striker Andre-Pierre Gignac, who scored 18 times for the Cote d’Azur side last term.
According to Simon Jones in the Daily Mail, the Magpies have already tested the water with a bid in the region of £12 million last month.
And though nothing came of the alleged offer, the Daily Mail suggest that the player, who has 16 caps for his country, has not completely ruled out a move to St. James’ Park.
The 27-year-old forward began his career with Lorient and enjoyed a fruitful spell with Toulouse before his big-money switch to Marseille in 2010.