Newcastle are ready to rival Arsenal for Saint-Etienne midfielder Blaise Matuidi, it has been claimed.
According to the Daily Star, the Magpies will attempt to steal a march on the north Londoners by tabling an offer of around £8 million for the 24-year-old France international.
However, Newcastle will have to increase their bid in order to capture Matudi, with Les Verts valuing the player at over £13 million, as confirmed by club president Roland Romeyer.
He told The Progress: "The right fee is €15million (£13.2m). We will not discuss anything lower."
Tough-tackling Matuidi has been tracked by Arsenal for a number of months after being identified by Arsene Wenger as a player who could add a combative edge to his midfield.
However, Newcastle appear to be prepared to out-gun Arsenal in the pursuit of the former Troyes man, as Alan Pardew oversees an overhaul of the playing squad at St James' Park.
The Newcastle boss has grand plans from the money made from the sale of Andy Carroll, with Yohan Cabaye already added to his playing staff from Lille.
Another Lille star who has been on the radar of Newcastle is Ivory Coast international Gervinho, but the 24-year-old is expected to seal a move to Arsenal in the coming days.
Lille have confirmed they have entered into discussions with Arsenal over the proposed sale of Gervinho, who is seemingly likely to become the Gunners' second signing of the summer.