Newcastle United are chasing Rennes striker Jimmy Briand.

The Sunday Sun says United scouts have watched the 22-year-old Rennes starlet on several occasions this season, with a view to a possible move.

Magpies boss Sam Allardyce tracked Briand, who combines physical presence with impressive pace, while in charge at Bolton last season.

And Newcastle could launch a bid for the France international in January, regardless of the future of Michael Owen or Obafemi Martins.

With Martins on African Nations Cup duty in the New Year, Mark Viduka's fitness a concern and Shola Ameobi struggling to impress Allardyce, Briand is potentially a worthwhile addition to United's striking options.