Newcastle’s search for a striker set to go to the wire

Newcastle want West Brom striker Saido Berahino
Newcastle want West Brom striker Saido Berahino

Newcastle United’s search for a striker is set to go to the wire.

West Bromwich Albion are digging their heels in over No 1 target Saido Berahino – and demanding £25million for the striker.

Winger Andros Townsend yesterday completed his £12million move to St James’s Park. Townsend, signed from Tottenham Hotspur, followed midfield pair Jonjo Shelvey and Henri Saivet through the door.

But the relegation-threatened Magpies’ top transfer-window priority is a striker.

Newcastle and Tottenham, also keen to sign the 22-year-old, will not meet West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace’s valuation of a player who does not figure in Hawthorns head coach Tony Pulis’s plans.

United, 18th in the Premier League and two points adrift of safety, now have just four days to sign an alternative – unless Peace backs downs.

Chelsea’s Loic Remy is an alternative, and it is expected that the forward – who spent the 2013-14 season on loan at St James’s Park – will be allowed to leave this month if the club signs, as expected, Corinthians striker Alexandre Pato on a six-month loan.

France international Remy can’t afford to be on the fringes at Stamford Bridge ahead of Euro 2016.

Newcastle had been keen to do all their business before Monday’s transfer deadline.

But it is looking increasingly likely that the club’s search for a striker to ease the goalscoring burden on Aleksandar Mitrovic, signed from Anderlecht last summer, will drag on over the weekend.

Meanwhile, United defender Mike Williamson is set to join Wolverhampton Wanderers today.

Williamson was recalled from a loan spell at the Championship club late last month amid an injury crisis on Tyneside.

But the 32-year-old, out of contract in the summer, will be allowed to leave on a permanent deal for a £250,000 fee.

Williamson joined Newcastle six years ago from Portsmouth and helped the club win promotion to the Premier League.