Newcastle are ready to raid bitter local rivals Sunderland once again this summer for the signature of Connor Wickham, according to reports from the Daily Mail.

The Magpies have already taken midfielder Jack Colback on a free transfer and have been alerted by his former team-mate’s current situation.

Wickham – who starred as the Black Cats put together a good run of form to avoid relegation last season – is currently in the last 12 months of his contract and has been told to extend his stay at the Stadium of Light or leave by manager Gus Poyet.

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The Uruguayan would ideally like to keep the former teenage prodigy, but he is aware that with the club having invested heavily to get him to the North East in the past a fee is needed if he is to walk away.

The 21-year-old has been offered a new deal, but Alan Pardew is planning a swoop.

The Magpies chief is known to be looking for a new striker and was impressed with the youngster last term.

Pardew was working at Reading when the forward was in the Royals’ academy, and is understood to have remained interested in him ever since.

West Ham are also watching the £6m-rated star.

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