Newcastle United to rival West Ham United, Watford and Fulham for Â£13m forward
Rafa Benitez is looking to strengthen his attacking options in this month's transfer window.
United's manager wants to sign a No 10 and a winger as well as a left-back.
And the club has been linked with a move for Defrel, who is on loan at Sampdoria from AS Roma.
A report in Italy has claimed that Newcastle are "very close" to agreeing a deal worth just over Â£13million for the Frenchman.
The Frenchman scored 23 goals in 73 appearances for Sassuolo before joining Roma on a permanent deal last year after a loan spell.
West Ham, Watford and Fulham have also been linked wiht Defrel.