Newcastle owner Mike Ashley must sanction a £20m swoop for Blackburn Rovers striker Adam Armstrong amid a major transfer update on the 24-year-old.
Previous reports had suggested that Steve Bruce’s side were leading the race to sign Armstrong, a move which would see him make his return to St James’ Park.
The Daily Express have now claimed that the Magpies’ Premier League rivals Southampton have now jumped ahead of the pack, with Rovers are demanding a £20m fee to sell him this summer.
The report adds that talks have already been held with his intermediaries, so time is running out for Newcastle to bring Armstrong back to Tyneside should they wish to do so.
Former Newcastle player Steve Howey has previously thrown his weight behind a potential return for Armstrong, even insisting that the striker himself would “relish” the opportunity to play in the black and white of Newcastle again.
Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast’s sister site Football Transfer Tavern, he said: “I think he’d relish the chance of coming back and he’d be desperate to score goals because he is a goalscorer and we’ve seen him score some excellent goals from Blackburn.
“I think he’d be desperate for the chance to come back but it’s just whether the club are prepared to make that move.”
At Blackburn, Armstrong has turned into a real goalscoring revelation, realising the kind of potential which marked him out as a potential star back at Newcastle – this season saw him score a remarkable 28 goals in just 40 Championship games, despite Rovers finishing mid-table in the division and well off the play-off places.
His manager Tony Mowbray gushed: “He’s a goalscorer. He always has been. I took him to Coventry because I saw him score some amazing goals for England Under-19s. He scores off both feet, he’s electrically fast off the mark, he’s got all the attributes.
“As long as you’ve got players who can slide him in, put passes over the top, put the ball in space for him he’ll score goals. His explosive pace at the top end of the pitch allows you to play both ways. it’s a devastating effect for the team.”
Given how Armstrong has developed and grown since leaving St James’ Park, Ashley must surely look to sanction a move for the striker and watch him bang in the goals back at his former club.