Exclusive: Inside track on Newcastle United's pursuit of Scotland ace Ryan Fraser with free agent decision due

Newcastle United's near two-year pursuit of Ryan Fraser is close to D-Day, with the Scotland international set to decide his future.

The Gazette can reveal United's decision-makers have been chasing the former Aberdeen and Bournemouth wideman since the start of 2019, with talks over a move beginning while Rafa Benitez was still in charge on Tyneside.

The move for Fraser has been in the pipeline long before PCP Capital Partners, Reuben Brothers and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia walked away from the £300 million bid to buy the club.

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It is understood the player and the Cherries expected United to make a permanent move last summer, but on and off field uncertainty saw no such bid come to fruition.

Ryan Fraser of AFC Bournemouth shoots during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and AFC Bournemouth at St. James Park on November 09, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.

Newcastle tried to get the player tied down on a pre-contract in May but the player, at that stage, opted to keep his options open with the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur showing an interest.

No such interest from the top six is believed to have resulted in successful talks, opening the door for United again along with two other Premier League clubs, Crystal Palace and West Ham United.

There has been constant, continued dialogue between Fraser's representatives - he switched from his long-term agent in May as he looked to move on from the Vitality Stadium - and Newcastle in 2020.

Manager Steve Bruce is believed to be a big fan of the 26-year-old, who walked away from recently-relegated Bournemouth on June 30 at the end of his deal.

Fraser is one of a number of players the Magpies are believed to be in talks with, as business goes on as usual at St James’s Park.

As well as a striker, Bruce and chief scout Steve Nickson are thought to have targeted a winger this summer, with a number of other players, most coming into the final year of their deals, under consideration.

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One striker at the top of the club's summer wanted list is Serbia and Real Madrid frontman Luka Jovic, as revealed by the Gazette.

While Zinedine Zidane could let the £60 million forward leave on loan, it is thought a long list of clubs from across the continent are also monitoring that situation.

Fraser started his career with the Dons, his hometown club, before making the switch to the south coast in 2013. The player has 11 caps for his country, scoring once.

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