Newcastle United’s pre-contract offer to Torino striker Andrea Belotti has been turned down, according to reports.
The Magpies have been linked with numerous players since their Saudi-led takeover was completed last October.
They have signed Chris Wood from Burnley and Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid this month and look poised to bring in Lyon midfielder Bruno Guimaraes.
Improving their defence has been the priority, but Newcastle have been unable to land any of their main targets after deals for Lille’s Sven Botman and Sevilla’s Diego Carlos broke down.
After signing New Zealand international Wood from their relegation rivals, the Geordies have been eager to bring another forward player through the door.
According to Calciomercato (via the Mirror), they have been dealt a huge blow in their pursuit of Torino captain Belotti, who has rejected the Premier League side’s contract offer.
Belotti – who is out of contract at the end of the season – is ‘waiting for AC Milan to make a move’ as he dreams of a switch to Torino’s Serie A rivals.
Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal and Newcastle have ‘come up empty’ in their ‘big-money offers’ for the Italy international.
Both teams have reportedly offered contracts worth €7m-8m (£125k per week) to Belotti, who is in ‘no immediate rush to determine his future’.
The soon-to-be out of contract forward has scored 107 goals for Torino in 238 matches.
Meanwhile, Newcastle want to bring Mainz centre-back Jeremiah St. Juste to St James’ Park before the end of the month, according to reports in Germany.
It is understood that ‘discussions between the clubs are already underway’ but that the possibility that a deal will be struck is ‘still completely open’.
In positive news for Newcastle, Mainz are ‘ready to talk’ and find an outcome with the Magpies needing to bid €15m (£12.5m) to seal a deal.