NEWCASTLE United will have to stump up £6m to prise target Erik Pieters away from PSV Eindhoven.
The club has been in talks over the left-back, earmarked as a replacement for Jose Enrique, who joined Liverpool last week.
Negotiations are ongoing with PSV’s technical director, Marcel Brands, according to sources in Holland.
And Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is hopeful of a breakthrough ahead of Saturday’s derby against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
For his part, Pieters – who was at his grandmother’s funeral yesterday after playing for the club at weekend – has told friends he is keen to sign for United.
But the two clubs must first agree a fee, and Pieters is waiting on developments.
The 23-year-old is understood to be looking for a £30,000-a-week salary, which would not break Newcastle’s strict wage structure.
Pardew is also desperate to sign a striker before the transfer window closes at the end of the month, and Sochaux’s Modibo Maiga yesterday emerged as a target.
The 23-year-old, rated in the £7m-bracket, refused to play against Caen at the weekend in a bid to force through a move to St James’s Park.
However, United also have other options, though time is fast running out.
Meanwhile, Newcastle will strongly deny a Football Association charge of failing to control their players in Saturday’s goalless draw against Arsenal.
A penalty claim by Gervinho sparked a mass confrontation.
Gervinho was dismissed for attempting to slap Joey Barton, though Arsenal have lodged a claim that his three-game ban is “excessive”.
A United statement read: “Newcastle United and Arsenal have been charged by The FA with failing to control their players following Saturday’s fixture at St James’ Park.
“Both clubs have been charged following a mass confrontation of players following an incident in which Arsenal’s Gervinho was also shown a red card. Newcastle will deny the charge.”
Arsenal’s Alex Song – who stamped on Barton in an incident not seen by referee Peter Walton – faces a separate charge of violent conduct.
Newcastle and Arsenal have until 4pm on August 18 to respond to the charge.