Why Newcastle United will have to break their transfer record to land French star
Newcastle United are believed to have been quoted Â£26million forÂ Eintracht Frankfurt striker Seb Haller.
That's according to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - who have watched the 24-year-old score seven goals in 10 Bundesliga appearances so far this season.
Last month, reports suggested Rafa Benitez, still unaware of his January transfer budget, had identified Haller as his top target.
Despite reported competition from Borussia Dortmund, initial reports were encouraging for Benitez and his chances of luring the Frenchman to St James's Park.
However the latest news is not so promising.
Newcastle are yet to break their longstanding Â£16million transfer record paid for Michael Owen from Real Madrid in 2006 - and under the ownership of Mike Ashley, such figure for Haller is unlikely to be sanctioned.
The other potential stumbling block is the emergence of Tottenham Hotspur's interest given the North London club can provide a challenge at the top of the Premier League and on the European stage.
It seems likely Benitez will be forced seek other options with Bologna striker Mattia Destro another name to be linked in recent weeks.
Destro, who was reportedly tracked by the Magpies in the summer, is free to leave the Serie A club in January and is thought to be available at a cut-price, which would not require Newcastle to break their transfer record.