Newcastle to consider their options
Newcastle are refusing to become bogged down in transfer brinkmanship as they attempt to strengthen Alan Pardew's hand for the new season.
The Magpies are understood to have had a take-it-or-leave it bid for FC Twente striker Luuk de Jong rejected with varying reports on the continent suggesting their final offer amounted to anywhere between 12million and 14million Euros (£9.6million to £11.2million).
However, having received little encouragement from a club reluctant to sell in any case and holding out for, by manager Steve McClaren's own admission, "silly money", they are now considering alternative targets.
The Tyneside hierarchy is yet to be convinced that De Jong is sold on a move to the north-east and with German outfit Borussia Dortmund and Barclays Premier League rivals Tottenham also interested, will not allow themselves to become engaged in a bidding war.
Newcastle have done much of their recent and hugely successful recruitment very much within a budget and have been held up as a model of what can be achieved with extensive research and astute spending.
To an extent, their reputation goes before them and having seen them snap up bargains in the shape of the likes of Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye and Demba Ba - Papiss Cisse was significantly more expensive - selling clubs are perhaps being more ambitious with their valuations.
That is, however, likely to make little difference with owner Mike Ashley and managing director Derek Llambias, who revel in their ability to drive a hard bargain, and it would be unwise to expect any radical change in policy.
The Magpies, of course, represent a far more attractive proposition than they did when the likes of Tiote and Cabaye signed as a result of last season's fifth-place finish and the Europa League football it secured.
That will increase the demands on Pardew's squad for the new campaign, and with another African Nations Cup likely to rob them of key players once again in January, their resources could be stretched without an influx of new blood.
French midfielder Romain Amalfitano has already arrived from Reims, but Leon Best's £3million departure for Blackburn on Monday and Fraser Forster's expected move to Celtic, which should bring in another £2million, mean there is further room for manoeuvre.