Newcastle United chief Joe Kinnear is urging club owner Mike Ashley to meet St Etienne's asking price for Pierre-Emerik Aubameyang.
The Journal says he has been working in tandem with Graham Carr over the last week and has also been in regular contact with Ashley, who has sanctioned a first offer for the St Etienne forward.
Aubameyang is highly rated after a stunning season in Ligue 1 but has been impressed with Newcastle’s resolve to sign him, and French sources say he would welcome the opportunity to talk to the club. But it appears as if St Etienne want to spark a bidding war for the player and believe they can raise around £17million for the Gabon striker.
It would be a major statement of intent from Ashley if he was prepared to go to the French club’s asking price – but also a boon for the new management structure at the club.