Magpies in Tavano link

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Reports in Italy suggest Newcastle are weighing up a move for highly-rated Empoli striker Francesco Tavano.

The Magpies are rumoured to be in the market for a new striker, with Michael Owen's long-term injury focusing minds on Tyneside, particularly after the retirement of Alan Shearer.

Manager Glenn Roeder has been keeping his cards close to his chest, although after adding Damien Duff to his squad, he is now reportedly eyeing up Tavano.

Tavano has long been linked with a move from the Tuscan side, only for Empoli's valuation of ‚é¼12 million (£8.2 million) to scare off potential suitors.

Reports claim Newcastle are preparing a bid in the region of ‚é¼10 million (£6.8 million), but The Magpies could face competition from Barcelona, with Frank Rijkaard believed to be ready to enter the bidding.