Fulham are considering making a third bid for Aston Villa striker Darren Bent after seeing their second bid rejected by the club.
Bent is thought to prefer a move to Newcastle, but Fulham – who are now under the ownership of car-parts billionaire Shahid Khan – saw a restructured offer following their initial £4m bid turned down.
Villa are believed to be asking £6m for the England striker, who they signed from Sunderland in a record deal of £18m rising to £24m with add-ons two years ago.
Bent was dropped last season by manager Paul Lambert, who chose to start striker Christian Benteke in his place and was rewarded with 23 goals in all competitions, and Bent has made it clear that he wants to leave Villa Park this summer as he is currently training away from the first-team squad.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew was interested in signing Bent last season after he worked with the forward during their time at Charlton, yet their pursuit this summer has been hindered by Joe Kinnear’s appointment as director of football, with the former Magpies manager now set to meet Bent’s representatives at some point this week.
The 29-year-old is understood to be in favour of working again with his former boss, who is likely to deploy Bent just behind current Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse, and he feels a move there would boost his chances of returning to Roy Hodgson’s England squad ahead of next summer’s World Cup.
Fulham have not given up hope though, and with the delay to Newcastle’s offer and Kinnear’s appointment somewhat undermining Pardew’s position at St James’ Park, they could still land the striker back to London having also turned out for Tottenham during his career.
Newcastle also remain interested in Queens Park Rangers striker Loic Remy, who they were close to signing in January only to see him head to Loftus Road. QPR are keen to offload Remy’s wages following relegation to the Championship, but the Magpies will only look for a loan-deal should QPR fund a portion of his 70,000-a-week salary.
They also remain interested in Lyon striker Bafétimbi Gomes despite having a £7m deal rejected by the Ligue 1 club. Gomez only has a year left on his current contract, but Lyon are holding out for a larger fee than what Newcastle were prepared to offer. However, the Tyneside club remain hopeful of landing their target, and have left the bid on the table should Lyon officials change their mind.