Newcastle United's hopes of making Montepellier midfielder Remy Cabella the belated replacement for Yohan Cabaye this summer have been given a significant boost after the ex-France Under-21 international admitted he was interested in the St James' Park club.
Cabaye was sold to Paris Saint Germain with just three days remaining in the January transfer window, and without a genuine replacement the club lost 11 of their last 15 league games.
And Cabella, who is expected to leave a Montepellier side who narrowly avoided relegation from Ligue 1 this term, has flirted with the idea of moving to Newcastle but insists other clubs remain interested.
"I have an arrangement with Montpellier in case an interesting offer pops up," he told Telefoot. "I'll reflect quietly about it to make the best decision.
"Newcastle is a good club in England. We will see what the coach will tell me. I have to do the right choice for Euro 2016.
"I could also stay in France. OM is one of the great French clubs and great French clubs interest me."
Cabella scored 14 goals in 37 league appearances last season and is regarded as among the finest players to emerge from France in recent years. Though omitted from Didier Deschamps' World Cup squad having not yet made a senior international appearance, the 24 year old is focused on playing at the European Championships in 2016.
After stumbling to a 10th place finish in the Premier League, Newcastle are in desperate need of a squad overhaul this summer.
The club have installed managing-director Lee Charnley with the hope of improving their recent record in the market, which saw them fail to sign a permanent player in any of the last two transfer windows.
Shola Ameobi and Dan Gosling have both departed after coming to the end of their contracts and with top scorer Loic Remy unlikely to make his loan move from Queens Park Rangers permanent, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew says his side require immediate replacements.
"Without putting myself under enormous pressure, when one or two leave they have to be replaced," he said last month.
"We still have to get one or two. In principle, what the statement was, was a statement of what we would ideally like.
"If you get into a position like we were last year, we got Remy and we were a strong team for the first half of the season."