Newcastle United are readying a bid for Nice midfielder Kafoumba Coulibaly, according to the Mirror.
Manager Alan Pardew has become increasingly concerned that star midfielder Cheick Tiote will leave the club in January.
Pardew is keen to prepare for such an outcome and has earmarked Coulibaly as the replacement.
The Ivory Coast international has a similar style to Tiote and Pardew believes he could an ideal option should Tiote leave.
It is thought an offer in the region of £3million should be sufficient to land Coulibaly’s signature.
Tiote is thought to be interesting Chelsea as Andre Villas-Boas is keen to upgrade his squad in January.
Coulibaly could be heading for the Sports Direct Arena regardless, as Tiote is currently missing through injury.
The 26-year-old has been at Nice since 2008, after only a year in French football with Bastia in Ligue 2.
Tiote’s injury has kept him out of the side since 22 October and his importance is highlighted by the fact that Newcastle were unbeaten with him in the side.
The 25-year-old was even given permission to return to Ivory Coast and see a witch doctor to help with his recovery.