Newcastle United are set to make a £5million offer for Leeds striker Alan Smith, but will allow Smith to stay at Elland Road until the end of the season.

Newcastle are understood to be prepared to offer Leeds £5million – the exact sum that they need to stave off going into administration.

Leeds have insisted that they would not sell the 23-year-old Smith, a favourite of Elland Road fans. But the Newcastle offer would involve Smith signing a pre-contract agreement and then being loaned back to Leeds until the summer.

Newcastle have prepared the way for a deal for Smith by allowing Carl Cort to join Wolves in a £1.5million deal.