Newcastle United are attempting to initiate talks with Leeds United about signing Ross McCormack in a move which could start the bidding for Leeds’ captain and top scorer.
A request for discussions about McCormack’s availability is understood to have been made by Newcastle at the start of this week as the Scotland international and United’s other players returned to Elland Road for meetings with owner Massimo Cellino.
The Premier League side are yet to table an offer for McCormack – valued at around £6million by Leeds – but an expression of interest from St James’ Park is likely to be followed by further enquiries from other English clubs.
Newcastle are in the market for three new strikers this summer and have lined up the signing of 20-year-old Ayoze Perez from Tenerife.
At least one of the remaining two forwards will be sourced from the English leagues, however, and Newcastle have already approached Burnley over Danny Ings – the striker who narrowly beat McCormack to the Championship’s player-of-the-year award this season.
Ings has only 12 months left on his contract at Turf Moor but McCormack is tied down until 2017 having signed a four-year deal with Leeds last summer, an agreement which made him one of the club’s top earners.
The 27-year-old finished the recent term as the Championship’s leading scorer with 29 goals and swept the board at United’s player-of-the-year awards ceremony last month.
Leeds retained him throughout the campaign despite receiving bids from West Ham United and Cardiff City in the January transfer window but numerous clubs have been linked with McCormack since the season finished on May 3.
He and Cellino spoke on Monday afternoon during a series of one-to-one meetings held between United’s owner and the playing staff.
The former Cardiff player refused to make any comment on the meetings but speaking to the YEP before the end of the season, McCormack said: “There’s no point in me sitting here saying that I don’t want to play in the Premier League because I do.
“I want to play there as soon as possible but in my head there’s a lot to take into consideration.
“I think about the feeling of being at Elland Road on the last day of the season, winning promotion and being captain.
“That would surpass just playing in the Premier League for any old club and I don’t say that lightly.”