New Chelsea boss Andre Villas Boas admittedly recently that he is yet to make a decision on whether he wants Daniel Sturridge as part of his squad for the new campaign or will send him back out on loan.
After his successful stint at Bolton last season, scoring eight goals in 11 starts, there will no shortage of suitors if the Portuguese tactician decides that his progress will be aided more by regular football elsewhere, with Newcastle said to lead the queue.
The Magpies have already signed another striker who shined after a move in the winter transfer window in Demba Ba, who netted seven times in ten starts for relegated West Ham, but could use another high-profile option in their attack.
The Daily Mirror report that manager Alan Pardew initially intended to buy the England Under-21s forward from the Blues, only to be unimpressed by an alleged £20 million price tag, so has instead ruled that a temporary switch would be more viable.
If unable to capture the former Manchester City youngster, a possibility given that Bolton will be keen to bring him back if Villas-Boas concludes that he will benefit from a year away from Stamford Bridge, Danny Welbeck is mentioned as an alternative.
Sturridge’s Young Lions colleague spent 2010-11 with Newcastle’s north-east rivals Sunderland and has been told by Sir Alex Ferguson that he will receive first-team opportunities for the champions this season though, so a deal appears unlikely.
It has been an eventful summer so far at St James’ Park, with captain Kevin Nolan leaving for West Ham and Jose Enrique also expected to exit, however they have invested well in Yohan Cabaye, Sylvain Marveaux and Mehdi Abeid.
Those additions should keep Newcastle safe from second season syndrome, with odds of 6/1 on them going down. Their price of 9/4 to make the top half shows that a mid-table finish is anticipated, while they are 50/1 to win the FA Cup.