NEWCASTLE United are hopeful of finally tying up a deal for long-standing target Remy Cabella.
The Magpies have made a significantly improved £9.5million bid for the Montpellier midfielder, according to reports in France.
Newcastle had hoped to push through a bid for the France international before the World Cup.
But Montpellier’s outspoken president Louis Nicollin dismissed an offer from the club, which he claimed was 8m Euros, as derisory.
Nicollin was mindful at the time that Cabella’s value could have been inflated by his involvement in Brazil.
However, the 24-year-old, a late call up to Didier Deschamps’s squad after Clement Grenier suffered an injury, didn’t make it off the bench.
Talks have restarted between the two clubs, with United seemingly the only serious bidder for Cabella, who had been the subject of a bid in January after Yohan Cabaye’s sale to Paris St-Germain.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is desperate to add “offensive” players to a squad which was found wanting in most areas of the pitch last season.
Cabella is understood to be interested in a move to St James’s Park, having not been put off by a series of verbal attacks on the club made by Nicollin.
Nicollin claimed defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa – who he sold to United in January last year – had been wrong to move to Newcastle, who are set to lose another France international, Mathieu Debuchy, to Arsenal this week.
Meanwhile, tickets for Newcastle’s opening pre-season friendly against Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park on July 15 are on sale to season-ticket holders and club members.
Tickets are priced £15 for adults and £5 for concessions.
United fans will be accommodated in the Rochdale Road Stand at Boundary Park, which has been renamed SportsDirect.com Park.