Newcastle United have reportedly made the first move in the race for Olympique Marseille's Ghanaian winger André Ayew. That's according to both le10sport and The Times, who claim the Magpies have lodged a £7million bid.
Ayew is known to have been a target of European giants Manchester United and Barcelona in the past, admitting that he was "speechless" in response to media reports linking him to the duo.
He told Sky Sports: "It is fantastic to hear these stories, even if it's just through newspapers. I am delighted to be linked with two powerhouses of world football. It means I have improved.”
However those quotes come from two years ago and while ESPN believe that the pair retain interest as late as April, more realistic suitors for the 23-year-old are thought to be Liverpool and Newcastle.
Ayew is believed to be on a salary in the region of £70,000-a-week at OM, which would cling to the edge of Newcastle's price range. However director of football Joe Kinnear may have money to play with should Yohan Cabaye's proposed £20million transfer to Arsenal goes through.
It is unknown whether a deal for Ayew would hinge on the potential sale of Cabaye, although the reported bid would suggest that either this not the case or Cabaye's departure is imminent.
Ayew could even theoretically be a direct replacement for the Frenchman. Despite generally appearing on the wing for Marseille, Ayew is said to feel more comfortable playing in the centre of midfield.
If Newcastle could guarantee the Ghanaian this, it could be a big bonus in persuading him to join the Toon Army over the likes of Liverpool.
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