Gus Poyet has his eye on Alan Smith, according to the Daily Star, with Newcastle looking likely to offload the injury prone star in the January transfer window.
Poyet has already purchased Newcastle keeper Steve Harper on loan, and reportedly believes that Smith can help Brighton get back to their winning ways, after the club suffered a slump in form this season.
The news will no doubt come as a blow to Leeds, who were said to be interested in Smith again after the 31-year-old has received limited starts at the Toon this season.
West Ham are also said to be interested in Smith, but Leeds are front runners, with the side desperate to get promoted into the top-tier once more, and more willing to come closer to Smith’s £60,000-a-week wage demand.
Brighton would also see Smith’s wage as a stumbling block in the deal, but with Harper at the coastal club, Poyet is hoping to steal the march on Leeds and secure the former England international’s signature.