Toon boss Alan Pardew has been busier than most Premier League managers this month, recruiting five players from France to bolster an injury-hit squad that currently lies 16th in the table.
Mathieu Debuchy joined in early January and was joined at St James’ Park by Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yoan Gouffran, Massadio Haidara and Moussa Sissoko last week to take the Magpies French speaking quota up to 13.
And reports on Sunday seemed to indicate that Pardew wanted to make 24-year-old Bony, who was also been linked with Chelsea and Liverpool before Christmas, his sixth signing of the transfer window and had tabled a £12million bid.
The Ivory Coast international, currently representing his country at the African Cup of Nations, has attracted attention after notching 16 goals in 18 Eredivisie games this season but Vitesse chief Van Leeuwen played down speculation of an offer from Newcastle
“As far as we know, nothing has happened so far,” he asserted. “Or it would have had to have been outside the club. I haven’t seen a fax.”
Pardew is thought to be keen on rounding off his January business by signing a new striker after losing Demba Ba to Chelsea and is said to also have St Etienne’s Pierre Aubameyang in his crosshairs.