Newcastle United have been handed a major boost in their pursuit of midfielder Karim Ziani after the Algerian was released by Wolfsburg.
First linked with a move for the player back in January, Magpies boss Alan Pardew faces competition from Greek side Panathinaikos for the 28-year-old's signature.
Newcastle held preliminary talks with the Bundesliga outfit at the turn of the year over a move for the player, according to talksport, although talks stalled between the two parties as Pardew looked to bring the player to St James' Park.
Loaned out to Turkish side Kayserispor for the remainder of the season, Ziani quickly fell out of favour at the Volkswagen Arena in 2011 and has since been released by Die Wölfe.
Bordeaux are also believed to be interested in taking the player to Ligue 1 next season, meaning Newcastle will face some stiff competition in the race to sign the player on a free transfer.
Yohan Cabaye, Sylvain Marveaux and Demba Ba have already joined the Magpies' ranks in the transfer window this summer, and speaking less than a fortnight ago Pardew admitted their were other players on the Toon radar.
“We hope to get one in before the tour of America – and there could well be one after the tour,” said the Newcastle boss.
Mevlut Erdinc, Tranquillo Barnetta, and Neil Taylor have all been linked, but Ziani would now be the cheapest option on the table for Newcastle.