NEWCASTLE UNITED have been told that Red Bull Leipzig want more than the £22.5m they paid to land Ademola Lookman if they want to sign the winger this month.

There is a chance the 22-year-old will be allowed to head to St James’ Park on loan during the winter transfer window but the German league leaders want a guaranteed future sale for that to happen, plus the loan fee.

Newcastle have been encouraged to make a move for the former Everton forward, with detailed reports suggesting the player is keen to move this month and Leipzig interested in doing business for the right price.

The England Under-21 international was hugely impressive on loan at Leipzig last season and that prompted them to make the £22.5m switch in the summer.

Since then he has found it harder to nail down his place and he has started just one game in the Bundesliga this season. He is a very talented and highly-rated player, which was highlighted by his five goals and three assists in his 11 appearances on loan.

But Leipzig do not want to lose any money on him and believe because of his potential and his achievements in Germany, they can command a fee of a little more than what they forked out for him.

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce is keen to bring in new faces this month in a bid to make sure his side avoid a slump and Lookman would provide the pace and direct-thinking he wants in the final third.

Allan Saint-Maximim, who could return to action after injury at Wolves on Saturday, and Miguel Almiron have been heavily relied on so far, while Christian Atsu has provided the back up.

Lookman would provide that alternative option on the flanks and he would appear to be an alternative to Hull City’s Jarrod Bowen.

Hull will only do business now for Bowen if Newcastle – or Aston Villa, who are also keen – pay the £20m asking price now, which is not something the Magpies are looking to do.

Lookman and Bowen are both players who appeal to Bruce but they are also signings with potential that would fall in line to the club’s transfer policy, provided the fees can be agreed and suit the Tyneside outfit.

Bowen can also play centrally and Bruce is known to want another striker added to his squad this month in light of Joelinton’s ongoing struggles.

Newcastle have tried to persuade AC Milan to part with Krzysztof Piatek this month and that is a realistic option, although the Italian giants would rather sell than loan him out.

Roma’s Nikola Kalinic is believed to have told his employers that he wants to stay in Italy and does not want to head for the North-East, while Chelsea will not be letting Olivier Giroud go until they have lined up a replacement.

Piatek’s situation is much easier in the sense that he has been unsettled by the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, so is angling to leave the San Siro.

News of Newcastle’s interest in the £30m man, however, has alerted other Premier League sides and Tottenham have expressed an interest following Harry Kane’s injury.

Bruce is expected to deliver a transfer update on Friday morning at his pre-match press conference, although history suggests Newcastle’s hierarchy tend to leave it late in the window to get deals done - if at all.

He does have money available to spend this month and he is keen to get Newcastle firing again having seen his side slip to three straight defeats in the Premier League, leaving them six points above the relegation zone.

Newcastle head to Wolves tomorrow hoping for a lift, and Saint-Maximim could be crucial to that.

His recent hamstring injury prevented him from playing over the festive period and Bruce has been reluctant to rush him back. His unpredictability and pace have become huge factors in helping Newcastle to fare well this season.