NEWCASTLE United are close to completing a cut-price move for Cardiff City striker Jay Bothroyd.

Magpies officials have held preliminary talks with their counterparts at the Cardiff City Stadium and are hopeful of completing a deal for the striker, whose current contract is due to expire in the summer, at the start of next week.

Manager Alan Pardew met the club’s owner, Mike Ashley, on Wednesday to discuss this month’s transfer dealings, and Bothroyd has emerged as a leading target.

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The 28-year-old England international is out of contract in the summer, and has turned down the offer of a new deal at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Cardiff officials have hinted they are prepared to agree a £2million deal for Bothroyd, who has emerged as one of the hottest properties in the Championship.

West Ham, Blackburn and Fulham have all been linked with a potential move for Bothroyd, but none of the trio have tabled a formal offer for his services.

Bothroyd, who began his career as an Arsenal trainee before playing for a number of clubs including Coventry, Charlton and Italian side Perugia, sprang to prominence when he scored 13 goals as Cardiff made the Championship play-offs last season.

He has scored 13 goals in 17 league appearances during the current campaign, and made his full international debut as England suffered a 2-1 defeat to France in November.