Newcastle United are poised to snatch Celtic captain Scott Brown on a free transfer, as the midfielder comes to terms with the prospect of being forced out of Parkhead reports the Scottish Daily Record.
The 26-year-old Scotland international was set to sign a new four-and-a-half-year deal with the SPL giants after reaching a verbal agreement with chief executive Peter Lawwell.
However, talks are now believed to have broken down over a row over an unpaid fee to Brown's representatives - and the Bhoys are now ready to offload.
Hoops boss Neil Lennon will not want his influential captain to leave Celtic Park, but the unrest has alerted Magpies manager Alan Pardew, who could bring him to St James' Park on a Bosman transfer.
Brown was linked with a move to Newcastle at the end of last season, shortly after lifting the Scottish Cup - his first trophy success as Celtic captain.
However, the loyal skipper was quick to end speculation by reaffirming his commitment to Celtic. Speaking in an interview with the Daily Record, he commented:
"I've heard all the stuff about Newcastle but I haven't paid the slightest bit of attention to it.
"I'm captain of Celtic, why would I even think about going anywhere else?"