NEWCASTLE United will have to stump up £3.5m if the club is to prise Mark Davies away from Bolton Wanderers.
The 24-year-old is expected to leave the Reebok Stadium this summer in the wake of the club’s relegation.
And Newcastle – who expect to lose Danny Guthrie this summer – now must decide whether to harden up their interest in Davies after tracking him this season.
Bolton manager Owen Coyle doesn’t want to lose Davies, who he has likened to Paul Gascoigne as a player.
But the financial consequences of relegation will bite at the Reebok Stadium this summer, and the former England youth international is one of the club’s most saleable assets.
Coyle’s United counterpart, Alan Pardew, is primarily focused on strengthening his defence in the transfer window.
And a number of targets – including FC Twente’s Douglas, Lille’s Mathieu Debuchy and PSV Eindhoven’s Erik Pieters – have been identified by the club’s chief scout, Graham Carr.
However, Pardew’s squad needs looking at elsewhere, not least midfield, with Guthrie – who had interested Aston Villa during Alex McLeish’s tenure – expected to leave on a free transfer in search of first-team football.
Guthrie is out of contract this summer, and didn’t feature in the Premier League run-in despite returning to fitness after a brief spell on the sidelines with a calf problem.
Pardew had been keen to keep the 25-year-old at the club, and talks were pencilled in for the end of the season.
But Guthrie’s mind appears to have been made up on a move away from St James’s Park, the former Liverpool player having grown frustrated at a lack of first-team starts.
Striker Leon Best will also be allowed to leave Newcastle after two and a half years at the club.