Newcastle United have not made a bid for highly-rated Vitesse Arnhem striker Wilfried Bony, according to the club’s technical director.
The 24-year-old Ivory Coast international has been linked with a move to Chelsea in the recent past, with his Eredivisie form putting Premier League clubs on alert.
And, reports in The Sunday Telegraph yesterday claimed Magpies boss Alan Pardew had made the first move, opening talks with the £12m-rated top scorer in Holland. However, Ted van Leeuwen insists that is not the case.
"As far as we know, nothing has happened so far. Or it would have had to have been outside the club. I haven't seen a fax," said the Vitesse technical director.
"It's very difficult. The market is tightly shut and top prices are requested. Colleagues are also complaining about that. But we are still keeping our eyes open.
"We have to wait on a domino effect. On the other hand we are also bonded by our budget. We can't simply buy. So it could also be nothing will happen."
If Newcastle were to land Bony, then he’d be the sixth French-speaking addition at St. James’ Park in the January transfer window.
There chances of landing the player could hinge on whether Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez is still interested in the player though, with the striker’s agent confirming at the end of November that the Blues were keen on his client.
"It is clear that Bony has attracted interest thanks to his good performances and scoring efficiency and one of the clubs interested as well are Chelsea,” said Dalibor Lacina at the time.
Whilst both clubs offer Europa League football in 2013, it’s the Stamford Bridge outfit who are challenging for the title in England this season, and are well-fancied to qualify for the Champions League next season.
And, despite the addition of Demba Ba already this month, Chelsea remain relatively light in attack, and could use the extra body to challenge for a starting spot along with Fernando Torres.