Newcastle are prepared to increase their bid for Everton’s Wayne Rooney after an initial offer of £20m offer was rejected.
Everton’s valuation of Rooney, 18, is closer to £30m, although the club insists they have no desire to sell the England striker.
An Everton spokesman told the club website, www.evertonfc.com: “I can confirm that we have received a 20 million pounds offer for Wayne Rooney from Newcastle.
“This bid has been turned down.”
Newcastle have money to spend following the £13.4m sale of Jonathan Wooodgate to Real Madrid.
Chairman Freddy Shepherd said at the weekend that Newcastle supporters would be “pleasantly surprised at what results from the Woodgate deal”.
Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, Shepherd added: “We didn’t go into the Woodgate transfer without a long-term plan. All will be revealed soon.”
Rooney was understood to be close to signing a new contract at Goodison Park, but the continuing uncertainty within the club’s boardroom, has forced him to delay committing to a new long-term deal.
Everton chariman Bill Kenwright and fellow board member Paul Gregg have been wrestling for control of the club all summer. Both claim to have secured fresh investment for the club, but to date, evidence of the additional funding has not been forthcoming.
Meanwhile, Manchester United, the other club linked with a move for Rooney, claimed that they were not preparing a bid for the striker.
“We could go out tomorrow and borrow the money to buy Wayne Rooney for £30-40m but it is bad business to end up with long-term debt for a short-term asset such as a player,” said United chief executive David Gill.