Date: 29th December 2009 at 6:29pm
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Newcastle United are interested in signing Leeds United striker Jermaine Beckford, it has emerged.

Chris Hughton was interested in signing the striker during the summer, but had to put off the purchase due to the club being on the market at the time, however, the Toon gaffer is now prepared to prize his man away from Leeds with a sizable bid come the January window – which opens in the next few days.

‘Jermaine Beckford is one of a few players that will of course be of interest to us,’ he told the Sunderland Echo.

‘In the work that we’ve done over the last few weeks and months, there have been numerous names that have been thrown at us.

‘There’ll continue to be players that become available that we thought wouldn’t be available. We have to look at all the options we have, but, certainly, Jermaine’s a player that will come into those options.

‘It’s no secret that we want to replace what we’ve had, which is a centre-forward and a centre-half. The two players – Zurab (Khizanishvili) and Marlon (Harewood) – have gone back, and we have to make decisions on those two, and the options we have.

‘At this moment, we’re still making decisions, and weighing up the options we have, and nothing’s been finalised yet.’

No fee has been mentioned, although it is widely thought that a £2 million bid could clinch the deal if the Magpies can agree a personal package with Beckford.