Newcastle United are lining up a move for Liverpool striker and Tottenham Hotspur target Divock Origi to replace Dwight Gayle, should last season's top scorer leave St James' Park. Rafael Benitez is open to parting ways with Gayle, who fired the Magpies to promotion last term, but only if he can find a replacement in the remaining hours of the summer transfer window.
The Guardian understand that Origi, who has seen just nine minutes of playing time this season, is Benitez's "principal" target yet the club face mountains of competition in their effort to bring the Belgium international to the north east.
Origi, 22, is only available on loan and Liverpool will weigh up how much playing time he can expect before deciding which club to send him to. Fellow Premier League sides Tottenham and Crystal Palace are among the interested parties but Newcastle's need will be the greatest if they allow Gayle to depart before the 11pm transfer deadline on 31 August.
BBC Sport understand both Fulham and Leeds United are interested in signing Gayle but that Newcastle are holding out for £20m for the striker who netted 23 goals in 34 games as the Toon won the Championship title. Despite helping his side return to the Premier League, Gayle has failed to register in any of the opening three top flight games of the campaign.
Benitez, the ex-Liverpool coach, is eager to bring in fresh faces to Newcastle before the transfer window slams shut but must first sanction a handful of exits. The 2005 Champions League winner is understood to be concerned by Gayle's attitude and that could speed up his departure, yet finding a replacement remains of paramount concern.
Meanwhile, former Lille forward Origi made 43 appearances in all competitions last season yet with Daniel Sturridge fit again and Dominic Solanke having arrived from Chelsea, Jurgen Klopp will be hard pressed to offer him regular first team opportunities. The German coach is not thought to favour loan deals but could U-turn on that stance in order to allow Origi to play senior football ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia next summer.
A spate of clubs from overseas are also monitoring Origi's future with Marseille, Inter Milan, Juventus, Sampdoria, Bayer Leverkusen, Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg all interested. But Ligue 1 champions Monaco may hold the trump card in negotiations with Liverpool having reportedly offered Origi to the principality club as part of the package to take Thomas Lemar to Anfield.
Tottenham can also be considered a strong contender given they can offer Origi Champions League football, much like Liverpool and Monaco, and their interest has been confirmed by Origi's father. The hitman almost moved to north London in 2014 when he instead joined the Reds, yet that deal could be reignited.
Mike Origi told DH.be: "We've not been contacted by Anderlecht. Divock has to leave Liverpool to get more playing time. Tottenham is a possibility, but there is also interest from France and Germany."