Queen's Park Rangers last night emerged as the frontrunners to sign the Marseille forward Loïc Rémy.
The 26-year-old forward has been the subject of intense interest from QPR and Newcastle. Marseille will sell the player for £10 million and both clubs are prepared to meet the Ligue 1 club's asking price.
Rangers, however, have the wage structure to see off Newcastle and they believe they can put a package to Rémy this weekend that will be financially strong enough to see off Alan Pardew's side.
Harry Redknapp needs firepower to have any chance of keeping the Premier League's basement side in the division. Rémy had scored 37 goals in all competitions in France in the last two full seasons. He has also been capped 17 times by France and has scored four goals for his country but has fallen out of favour this season and that has alerted several English clubs.
Newcastle desperately need a centre forward to replace Demba Ba, who completed his £7.5 million move to Chelsea yesterday, leaving a major hole in Pardew's squad as they look to arrest an alarming run of results that has seen them lose 10 of their last 13 games and fall to within two points of the relegation zone. They thought they were in pole position for Rémy but the interest from QPR has seriously undermined their approach.
Newcastle have a salary ceiling of around £60,000-a-week for their top earners and Rangers will be able to offer a package in excess of that.
They already have players on around £80,000-a-week and with an offer set to be tabled this weekend, believe they can tempt Rémy to move to Loftus Road.