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Newcastle push for Zapata

Newcastle are stepping up their attempts to arrange a loan-to-buy deal for Atalanta striker Duvan Zapata.

The Colombian star, 30, wants to join the Geordies and Toon officials are trying to structure a loan deal with the option of a permanent summer deal.

Atalanta value Zapata at around £34m and are seeking a loan fee of around £8m as part of the package for a powerhouse striker who also played in Italy for Napoli, Udinese and Sampdoria .

Newcastle were unlucky in an early move for Zapata and turned their gaze to Chris Wood, who signed from relegation rivals Burnley last week in a £25m deal .

At the start of this month’s transfer window, Newcastle were alerted to the availability of Arsenal outcast Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and offered to loan the Gabonese forward on a possible permanent summer deal.

But Aubameyang, 32, is now attracting similar interest from Saudi sides Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr, after being given the green light after heart checks on his return from the Africa Cup of Nations , where he tested positive for Covid-19. .

Meanwhile, Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff, 24, is being watched by Nottingham Forest, who are aware he is out of contract at the end of the season and could tempt Toon with a £2million offer. pound sterling.

Prior to his sacking by Everton a week ago, former Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez had been tipped to make a move for Longstaff this month.

Longstaff’s brother, fellow Newcastle midfielder Matty, 21, remains a loan target for League Two sides Carlisle and Harrogate, after his temporary stay with Aberdeen was cut short due to a lack of playing time with the Scottish Premiership team.

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