Newcastle have withdrawn the race to sign Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis after the French club rejected their latest offer.
The Magpies are yet to sign a single player in this transfer window, but it is believed the bid – thought to be around £7m – will remain on the table should Lyon change their mind.
The Ligue 1 side want significantly more for the striker, who has been with the club since 2009 making 189 appearances and scoring 74 goals.
Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has proven a stubborn negotiator in recent times, and his chances of agreeing to Lyon’s demands seem remote at best. Reports early this morning in France suggested that Newcastle had pulled back from the deal, and sources on Tyneside later confirmed the news.
The lack of movement will further frustrate manager Alan Pardew, who is still waiting for newly appointed director of football Joe Kinnear to make an impact, with the club the sole remaining team yet to add to their senior squad this season.
Kinnear signalled his intention to bring in players within days of his arrival when he effectively took over from outgoing managing director Derek Llambias on the transfer front.
The striker department has been Pardew’s priority this summer, with interest in Aston Villa striker Darren Bent coming after the England forward announced his intention to leave Villa Park this year.
They have also returned for Queens Park Rangers striker Loic Remy, who they believed they had signed the Frenchman in January only to see him head to Loftus Road instead. Remy has been linked with a season-long loan to Tyneside as QPR attempt to lower their wage bill after their relegation to the Championship.
At least the club has resolved the situation regarding Papiss Demba Cisse, who has agreed to wear shirts sponsored by money-lending company ‘Wonga’ after he initially refused over his religious beliefs.
Cisse will now return to the squad to join lone striker Shola Ameobi, who scored in the 1-0 pre-season victory over Blackpool yesterday.
The news will do little to comfort Magpies fans though, who saw the club flirt with relegation last season having finished sixth the year before.
Some positive news comes from midfielder Yohan Cabaye though, who has insisted he is focused on Newcastle’s opening Premier League game after he was linked with a move away.
Cabaye told the Chronicle: "It's always nice to hear that, and the fans were fantastic, as they are every time. It was a great moment.
"I'm just working hard. We have to be focused and ready for the first game on August 19."