Newcastle striker Leon Best close to Blackburn switch

 

Striker Leon Best's stay at Newcastle could be drawing to a close with Blackburn having stepped up their interest.

Press Association Sport understands the 25-year-old Republic of Ireland international was due to undergo a medical with the Lancashire club today.

Best, who joined the Magpies in a £1.2million switch from Coventry in February 2010, found his chances last season limited by injury and the form of Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse.

Best arrived on Tyneside as then-manager Chris Hughton attempted to strengthen his team for their push for an immediate return to the Barclays Premier League.

He made his debut in a 5-1 demolition of Cardiff, but did not manage to find the back of the net in 13 Championship appearances as Newcastle claimed the title.

Indeed, he had to wait almost 12 months for his first goal as injury wrecked the first half of the 2010-11 season, although he belatedly announced his arrival in style with a Premier League hat-trick in a 5-0 rout of West Ham on January 5 last year.

He contributed three more goals before the end of the campaign as the Magpies coped without Andy Carroll, whose £35million departure for Liverpool caused such consternation on Tyneside.

But the summer arrival of Ba, who plundered 15 goals before heading off on African Nations Cup duty with Senegal, and a subsequent 13-goal blast from Cisse saw him marginalised once again.

Ba's future at the club remains in some doubt amid speculation that a series of potential purchasers will attempt to activate a release clause in his contract, but the Magpies are themselves engaged in a concerted, if so far fruitless, pursuit of FC Twente's Luuk de Jong.

Newcastle are understood to be still some way away from meeting the Dutch club's valuation of their frontman - they are a good deal closer with Brazilian-born defender Douglas - but may be encouraged by his agent's claims that he will leave this summer despite manager Steve McClaren's understandable desire to keep hold of him.

Louis Laros told Voetbal International: "Luuk, the decision is taken. He wants to further develop into a bigger league.

"The important thing for us is the sporting perspective of Luuk. Not the money, but the way of playing and the amount of playing time he will get will be decisive. "

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral