Nice striker Alassane Plea favours a move England over other countries, according to the Chronicle journalist Lee Ryder.
Local French newspaper Nice Matin had reported that the Frenchman had agreed a move to Borussia Monchengladbach, but that story is believed to be wide of the mark.
Both us and the German club offered in the region of £20m for the 25-year-old, but Nice are holding out for £27m, with 20% of the transfer fee being owed to Lyon.
There are other Premier League clubs interested in Plea, however. Fulham and West Ham are also keen on the striker, while reports on the continent suggest Sevilla and Valencia could enter the race for the player.
The former France Under 21 international had an excellent season with Nice, scoring 21 goals in all competitions, and interest in the forward from the Magpies has intensified in recent weeks. Manager Rafa Benitez will likely head into pre-season with just two senior strikers in Dwight Gayle and Joselu, and strengthening the forward line is the main priority.