NEWCASTLE United are set to lodge a second bid for priority defensive target Mathieu Debuchy by the end of the week as they step up efforts to land the France international.
The Journal has learned that United’s summer plans centre around a £20million triple swoop for Debuchy, FC Twente striker Luuk de Jong and Ajax’s versatile midfielder Vurnon Anita.
And, despite having initial bids turned down for all three players, they still hope to recruit the trio. United hope to take a significant step towards signing Debuchy by the end of this week.
United made an initial offer of £4million for the right-back at the start of the month but believe they can land the 26-year-old for £6million.
There have been claims of interest from a host of English clubs – as well as Inter Milan – but Newcastle are the only club to table an offer so far and they are the preferred destination of Debuchy, who has been sold the club by close friend Yohan Cabaye.
Given the player’s age, the deal represents a slightly different approach for Newcastle, who will not get much of a sell-on value from a star they want to tie down to a four-year deal.
But they believe he would hugely improve the squad – hence their enthusiasm for a move for a player at the top end of their preferred age bracket.
The Journal can also reveal that United still have an interest in both de Jong and Anita, despite initial offers for both players having been turned down last month.
United want de Jong despite having an £8.5million deal rejected and the move is not dependent on Demba Ba’s future. While the move has been mothballed while the player is on holiday, a further offer for the Twente man could be tabled as early as next week.
And they still have a pressing interest in Anita – the Ajax midfielder for whom they tabled a speculative £4million offer earlier this month.
The Journal understands that those three players – along with 19-year-old Australian defender Curtis Good of Melbourne Heart – are the main thrust of their summer recruitment efforts and the club is unlikely to look at other players during this transfer window. Newcastle carry out rigorous research on their potential signings and will not be drawn into panic buying or recruiting players simply for the sake of it.
They illustrated last summer that they will walk away from a deal if it is not right for them.
And there is the prospect of the club doing the same this close season if they cannot broker deals on their terms.
The club also look to be banking on the successful return of Steven Taylor from injury, because moves for centre-backs Douglas and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa have been ruled out.
United have an interest in Ajax’s Toby Alderweireld – but he has been ruled out as too expensive in this transfer window.
Newcastle’s success in the transfer market has made them the favourite name on the lips of agents trying to generate interest in their players this summer.
It has also prompted speculation linking their own players with moves away from St James’ Park – but United are relaxed about what they see as mischief making in the summer transfer window.
Although the agent of PSV Eindhoven striker Ola Toivonen has claimed contact with Newcastle officials, he is not understood to be a priority target for United this summer.
And there is no interest in Poland’s international full-back Sebastien Boenisch, who is without a club. Although well known to United’s scouts, the Magpies do not want to take a risk on signing a player who has spent so long out through injury. Besides, long-term target Debuchy is the player they want.