Newcastle, Celtic and Everton are ‘on alert’ for striker target Shane Long, the Daily Mirror claims, after Reading manager Brian McDermott admitted the star may move to a Barclays Premier League club.
"Shane is the best striker in the Championship. He could play for anyone in the Premier League," McDermott said.
"I said to him in January that if we failed to be promoted I would do my best for him in terms of finding him a Premier League club, if it was good for the club and for him.
"Shane is not desperate to walk away. His mum comes to every game and he is well looked after."
Long, who scored 21 goals in the npower Championship last season, has long been a target for Newcastle, and Everton and Celtic have recently come into play for the 24-year-old.
Newcastle are desperate to find a striker to replace former Toon forward Andy Carroll, who left the club for Liverpool in January. While a deal for Turkey international Mevlut Erdinc appeared imminent, Erdinc reportedly wants to stay at Paris Saint-Germain, leaving Pardew to rethink his target options.
Everton, meanwhile, are also said to be interested in Long, along with Celtic. But Newcastle look to have the edge over their rivals, boasting a £35 million transfer budget from the Carroll’s sale (less the £5 million fee for Yohan Cabaye).
Everton are reportedly having problems coming up with the cash to pay up front for their transfer targets, while Long is favouring a move to an English club over Celtic.
Long is said to be worth £7 million, which is a high price considering the star has yet to experience Barclays Premier League football.