NEWCASTLE UNITED remain interested in Christian Eriksen, although the Magpies hierarchy accept they will have to outbid some of the biggest clubs in the Premier League if they are to land the Danish midfielder this month.

While the bulk of Newcastle’s transfer attention in the last week or so has been focused on Sven Botman and Hugo Ekitike, with talks still ongoing over both players, Eriksen remains a player of considerable interest.

The 30-year-old is understood to have rejected the offer of a new contract at Brentford, with Bees officials having begrudgingly accepted they will be unable to keep him in south-west London next season.

Eriksen only signed a six-month deal when he joined Brentford in January, with Thomas Frank offering him an opportunity to kick-start his career again after his enforced absence because of the cardiac arrest he suffered during last summer’s European Championships.

The Dane performed superbly during the second half of last season, but while he enjoyed his time with Brentford, he has decided it is time to move on.

Newcastle are aware of the contractual developments, and regard Eriksen as a potentially exciting addition. While midfield is not regarded as a priority position, with the Magpies focusing on goalkeeper, central defence and attack, Eddie Howe has always insisted that all areas of the field are under constant review, with the club prepared to act if an attractive option becomes available.

While Eriksen’s wage demands will be substantial, his status as a free agent is an obvious lure, and Newcastle’s recruitment team have been in touch with his representatives.

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However, Manchester United and Tottenham have held more substantive talks with Eriksen and his agents, and at this stage, the two clubs are regarded as the favourites to pull off a deal.

Erik ten Hag has made an overhaul of Manchester United’s midfield one of his key priorities following his appointment as manager earlier this summer, with Paul Pogba and Juan Mata both having left Old Trafford. Ten Hag is hoping to sign both Eriksen and former Ajax colleague Frenkie de Jong this summer.

Tottenham have also targeted Eriksen as a key potential acquisition, and can offer their former midfielder Champions League football after their fourth-place finish last season. Spurs boss Antonio Conte worked with Eriksen during the pair’s time together at Inter Milan.

Newcastle’s recruitment team accept it will be difficult to outmuscle both Manchester United and Spurs, but they have not given up on the battle and hope to be able to hold a face-to-face discussion with Eriksen in order to make their case.

Meanwhile, talks over both Botman and Ekitike remain ongoing. Lille have accepted Newcastle’s framework £30m offer for Botman, but continue to hold parallel conversations with AC Milan, who have rekindled their interest in the Dutch centre-half in the last couple of days. Crucially, Botman is yet to make a firm stance on where he wants to play his football next season.

Newcastle have received a positive update on the hamstring injury Ekitike sustained while on international duty with France Under-20s last week, and hoping to progress their proposed €30m transfer for the teenager in the next few days.