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Magpies keen on offloading Simpson
NEWCASTLE UNITED are looking to offload Danny Simpson to Reading ahead of increasing efforts to land French full-back Mathieu Debuchy.
The Magpies have been on the trail of Debuchy all summer but have been unable to reach an agreement with Lille over a fee.
Inter Milan's credible interest in the France international has helped up the asking price for a player Newcastle had been hoping to sign for £4m at the beginning of the summer.
Debuchy's promising displays at Euro 2012 have strengthened Lille's determination to get a much higher fee, although Newcastle have made fresh contact in an attempt to get a deal done.
Discussions between the two clubs have been encouraging, but Newcastle are aware Lille are looking for at least £8m for the 26-year-old and are reluctant to match that figure until Simpson's future has been sorted out.
Simpson's reluctance to sign a new contract over the last six months has meant Newcastle are happy to listen to offers for the former Manchester United man.
Reading have been in regular contact about signing him and manager Brian McDermott wants to reunite the defender with Danny Guthrie, who made the move to the Madejski Stadium at the end of his contract on Tyneside.
Simpson was a second-half substitute in Newcastle's 1-0 defeat to German side Chemnitzer, but is well aware of the Royals' interest in him. Whether he leaves, though, will depend on whether Newcastle's asking price is met.
Reading are prepared to give the 25-year-old a three-year deal, worth around £30,000 a week, which is the sort of figure he had been looking to receive at St James' Park.
But Newcastle are keen to receive around £2m for him, which would enable them to double their attempts to land Debuchy from Ligue 1.
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew hopes Debuchy will be his next signing of the summer after securing the signatures of less experienced pair Romain Amalfitano and Gael Bigirimana.
He also remains in the market for Twente centre-back Douglas and is keeping an eye on any potential attacking targets that could become available after failing to land Dutchman Luuk de Jong.
But Pardew is also mindful of the number of young talents he has coming through the ranks and admits next season could be a big year for some of the club's academy graduates.
"I'm looking forward to seeing young players take their opportunities?" said Pardew. "I think it's brilliant for football clubs when young players come through the academy system.
"There is nothing fans cheer more than when a young player has come through the ranks. We've got one local in Sammy Ameobi, Shane Ferguson, who also came through the ranks, and we've bought Haris Vuckic and he's been here four years now.
"They've got great potential. I could spend six or seven million on someone who isn't better than these if they realise their potential. We could make a big error thinking we can get someone better than them. Hopefully they can continue to progress, they will get games, especially in Europe."
The increase in the number of games likely to be on Newcastle's fixture list means Pardew has to be aware of the younger players he has at his disposal.
But he admits that Premier League opportunities could still be few and far between next season.
He said: "The priority for this club is the Premier League. I've said that from day one, that's where our aspirations are. The cups are our second priority, all the cups.
"They will get chances in those games. The most important thing is, I know, if we stand still, teams are going to pass us again. We mustn't stand still so I've got to improve the team.
"You can weaken the team by trying to improve it, but you have to take that risk or we're never going to break into the top four. You can spoil the recipe that got us success last year, but we can't stand still, we need to improve."