Dear Mike, Please can I have £12M to buy a striker? Your pal, Alan

Great Britain and France have had an uneasy relationship for some time now. It all stems from when that chap Napoleon Bonaparte was roaming all over Europe with his army, making a right old mess.

That was until we Brits took the cane out of the cupboard and gave him a good thrashing! But the French do produce extremely good footballers, a fact which has not gone unnoticed by Mike Ashley, who has £35 million burning a whole in his trouser pocket.

Newcastle are planning a summer raid of Ligue 1, and have targeted Lorient’s Kevin Gameiro as their ideal replacement for Andy Carroll. The Magpies have apparently been tracking the 23 year old for the last 2 seasons and are desperate to land the striker who has been in fine form for the French side.

This season he’s managed 15 goals already and since joining Lorient from Strasbourg in 2008 has scored 48 goals. Lorient know they may have to sell the striker, but they are reluctant to sell him to a team in the same division. Bordeaux and Lyon have already been sniffing around, but Lorient do not want to sell to rivals. Which leaves Mike Ashley and Alan Pardew ideally placed to make a bid for the player, who could cost up to £12 million.

The Toon are also interested in acquiring the services of Marseille based defender Taye Taiwo. The 25 year old is out of contract this summer, and with Pardew keen to bolster his defence (and make a few quality signings to prove his intent) Newcastle would be first in line with a deal. Whilst still realtively young, Taiwo has made nearly 200 appearances for Marseille and is a proven international with Nigeria.

Follow Peter Turner on Twitter @petermagpie.

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