Newcastle United have reportedly set their sights on hijacking Queens Park Rangers’ bid to bring Jermain Defoe to the Premier League.
Rs boss Harry Redknapp has already been linked with a transfer deadline day swoop for the Toronto star, who is keen to depart the MLS after seeing manager and friend Ryan Nelsen sacked by the club.
Redknapp previously worked with the 31-year-old at West Ham, Portsmouth and Tottenham Hotspur and had hoped these spells and the pre-existing bond between player and manager would have been enough for him to steal a march on any potential transfer rivals.
But Newcastle may have an ace up their sleeve in the form of manager Alan Pardew.
The Magpies boss struck up a friendship with Defoe during their time together at Upton Park and the opportunity to test himself at a club of Newcastle’s stature could be enough to convince the forward to pick a move to the north-east.
Pardew is desperate to recruit a quality forward to the Toon ranks in the next day and has already hit something of a brick wall in his pursuits of Loic Remy and Alexandre Lacazette, with the former choosing Chelsea while the latter looks likely to remain at Lyon.
Defoe would therefore be a welcome addition to the Magpies ranks and could yet earn himself a recall to the England national side ahead of Euro 2016.
The 31-year-old’s move to Toronto ended any hopes of him going to the World Cup in Brazil and regular football at St James’ Park could represent the ideal platform for the player to show Three Lions’ boss Roy Hodgson what he is missing.
No fee has yet been mentioned but it is widely thought that his current MLS employers would settle for a fee of around £6m.
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