Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is ready to return to France once again as the search for a striker gathers pace.
Having missed out on Kevin Gameiro and Gervinho, who was sent off at St James' Park on his competitive debut for Arsenal on Saturday evening, and been unable to persuade Mevlut Erding to leave Paris St Germain, Pardew has expressed his interest in Sochaux's Modibo Maiga.
The 23-year-old Mali international was not involved in Saturday's 2-1 home defeat by Caen, and reports today claimed he is trying to engineer an 8million euros move to St James' Park.
Maiga was quoted by L'Equipe as saying: "I want it to be done with Newcastle.
"I met everybody, they want me and it is not any club. England is a dream. I want to leave, it is necessary that the president agrees to negotiate."
It is understood Newcastle's interest in the player, who claims to have been offered a five-year deal, is genuine, although there was no official comment from the club today.
Maiga insisted he would respect his contract, but was pleased that Sochaux had allowed him the chance to talk to the Magpies.
He said: "I do not want to quarrel with Sochaux. I will respect my contract, I'm ready to play and I will be 100 per cent, but it is necessary that the president discusses my transfer.
"The ball is in the court of the leaders of Sochaux."
Pardew revealed after the 0-0 draw with the Gunners that he hoped to have a left-back and a striker in place ahead of Saturday's derby trip to Sunderland with PSV Eindhoven's Erik Pieters still among his defensive targets.
He has already recruited Yohan Cabaye, Sylvain Marveaux and Mehdi Abeid from French sides Lille, Rennes and Lens respectively this summer.Reuse content