Newcastle United's hopes of belatedly replacing Demba Ba have taken a significant blow after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined Borussia Dortmund while Arouna Kone is expected to join Everton.
No Newcastle player scored more goals in all competitions than Ba during the 2012/13 season, despite the Senegal forward joining Chelsea in the January transfer window.
The Toon signed six players in the winter window but only one forward in the form of Frenchman Yoan Gouffran, who scored just three goals in 15 appearances during the second half of the season.
Aubgameyang, 24, seemingly opened the door to joining Newcastle this summer when he claimed he would chose the Premier league over any other destination - subsequently praising the passion of the Toon fans.
But the club's hopes of signing the St-Etienne forward faded on Thursday when he joined Champions League runners-up Dortmund, who will now be forced into fending off interest in Robert Lewandowski.
"We are very pleased that in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang we were able to sign a player we really wanted," said the Dortmund sporting director, Michael Zorc.
"He is offensively very versatile, has a lot of pace in his game, is a threat in front of goal and will provide us with more options."
The near-miss will ratchet the pressure up on new director of football Joe Kinnear, who was controversially appointed by owner Mike Ashley last month, and the remainder of the Newcastle hierarchy including chief scout Graham Carr, who failed to find an out-and-out replacement for Ba in January.
The Magpies, who finished 16th in the Premier League last season, just five points above the relegation zone, are in discussions to sign Wigan Athletic forward Arouna Kone after having a bid accepted by The Latics.
However, Everton, now managed by Roberto Martinez - who brought Kone to the Premier League last summer - remain the favourites to sign the Ivory Coast international who netted 11 goals in his maiden season in English football.
"They have both made the offer that could buy Arouna," said Wigan chairman Dave Whelan.
"We gave permission for Everton to speak to him and our first thought was that's where he wanted to go but Newcastle have now come in."
New Wigan manager Owen Coyle believes Everton are Kone's preferred destination with the 29 year old keen to work with his former boss Martinez, who won the FA Cup last season but suffered relegation to the Championship.