Toon close on Mali striker

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Newcastle are in advanced talks with Sochaux over the transfer of striker Modibo Maiga, with the club working overtime to finalise multiple deals before the transfer window closes.

The Toon have been on the lookout for a striker since Andy Carroll departed the north-east for Liverpool in January, and after deals with targets Mevlut Erdinc and Nolan Roux reportedly fell through, Alan Pardew has moved on to chase Maiga.

Newcastle became involved in a transfer tussle over a deal for the striker last week, with the 23-year-old refusing to play for Sochaux in the hope of engineering a move to St James' Park.

While Sochaux chairman Alexander Lacombe claimed the Ligue 1 outfit were reporting the Toon for illegal transfer dealings, talks look to now be in the final stages for Maiga to head to Newcastle.

"There has been an offer from them [Newcastle]," Lacombe said. "But my goal is to maintain a competitive team.

"I won't sell Modibo without having found a replacement.”


And Sochaux look to be close to finding a replacement for the player instantly, with Lacombe confirming that the club are close to signing Leeds United forward Max Gradel.

"We hope to finalise the deal," Lacombe said. "It's a deal which is at an advanced stage."

Should Newcastle complete the deal for Maiga, it will be Pardew’s fourth signing from France this summer, with the manager taking full advantage of the club’s scouting connections in the country.

Newcastle are also close to finalising a deal with Italian full-back Davide Santon, as Pardew looks to find a replacement for Jose Enrique.

Santon’s agent Claudio Vigorelli revealed that the aim for the 20-year-old is to move to St James’ Park before the transfer window closes on Wednesday.

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