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Newcastle set to make renewed approach for Gouffran
NEWCASTLE United are set to make a renewed approach for Bordeaux striker Yoan Gouffran after their initial bid of £750,000 was rejected yesterday.
The Magpies remain hopeful of holding on to skipper Fabricio Coloccini until the end of the season despite the Argentinian's desire to return to his homeland.
But they could face a battle to land Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa after Arsenal officials made contact with their counterparts at Montpellier to inquire about the central defender, who is due to travel to Tyneside to discuss personal terms and undergo a medical this morning.
Having lost out on Loic Remy at the start of last week, Alan Pardew's number one priority in the remainder of the transfer window is to sign a centre-forward.
With St Etienne's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang not expected to leave France this month, Newcastle have switched their attention to Gouffran, a 26-year-old former France under-21 international who is due to become a free agent in the summer.
The Magpies hierarchy had hoped to exploit the striker's contractual situation in order to secure him for a cut-price £750,000 fee, but Bordeaux rejected yesterday's offer and are holding out for £1.5m.
Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias will be reluctant to pay that much for a player who will be free to move for nothing in the summer, but further talks are planned for later today in an attempt to strike a compromise.
Gouffran, who has scored eight goals this season and played against Newcastle in the Europa League, has been linked with Arsenal and Everton in the past.
Whether Yanga-Mbiwa ends up on Tyneside remains to be seen, as Newcastle are still no closer to completing a deal for the 23-year-old despite agreeing a fee of £6.7m with Montpellier over the weekend.
As was the case with their pursuit of Remy, news of Newcastle's financial settlement with Montpellier has alerted other clubs who have expressed an interest in Yanga-Mbiwa in the past.
Sources in London claim Arsenal have made contact with Montpellier to ascertain what they would need to do to strike a deal, and while the Gunners are not believed to have submitted a formal offer at this stage, their ongoing interest will have concerned Newcastle officials.
The current situation has alarming echoes of the club's unsuccessful chase for Remy, although the Magpies are confident Yanga-Mbiwa will arrive on Tyneside this morning after the Montpellier president confident the transfer was still on track late last night.
The prospects of Massadio Haidara joining also look bright, with Newcastle having agreed a fee of around £2.5m with Nancy for the full-back.
The need for defensive reinforcements would become much more acute if Coloccini was to leave the North-East before the end of the month, and the defender's position remains uncertain despite yesterday's meeting to discuss his future.
Newcastle's lawyers were present at the meeting with Coloccini's representatives, and there is a firm resolution not to be left out of pocket despite the Argentinian's desire to return to his homeland for personal reasons.
San Lorenzo, who are Coloccini's preferred choice of new employers this month, are not in a position to pay for the centre-half, who cost £10m when he left Deportivo La Coruna in 2008.
There is also the small matter of the remaining three-and-a-half years of the 30-year-old's contract to discuss, with Newcastle currently committed to paying around £80,000-a-week for the rest of his deal.
As things stand, the most likely scenario is that Coloccini will remain on Tyneside for the remainder of the season with a new round of talks planned for the end of the campaign.
However, such a scenario relies on the defender committing to give his all in the remaining four months of the season, something that cannot be taken for granted given his deep-rooted desire to leave.
Meanwhile, there is a chance Danny Simpson could remain with Newcastle before leaving as a free agent in the summer.
The full-back has been linked with Fulham and West Ham this month, but the Magpies are yet to receive a formal offer for his services.
Mathieu Debuchy's arrival has shuffled Simpson down the pecking order, but he could still provide some useful cover in the second half of the campaign.