West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has said Newcastle would have to make an “unbelievable” offer if he was to consider selling defender James Tomkins as the Magpies look to bolster their defensive options.
Tomkins, 23, has been a long-term target for Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, who has been rocked by the news that captain Fabricio Coloccini wants to leave Tyneside and return to his native Argentina.
Despite having few defensive options at present, Allardyce said the Hammers could end up selling Tomkins - but only if a huge offer was made.
“We have never been in a position to sell anybody and we don't want to,” he said. “We want to increase the size of the squad, not decrease it.
“You never know what happens in this window because, if someone offers you an unbelievable amount of money for one of your players then the owners look at that and say that is too much to turn down - not that that has happened at the moment.
“But the most important thing for me is players coming in, not going out. We only have two centre-halves left, James [Collins] and [Winston] Reidy, and we have a young 19-year-old at full-back because we have no one else, so I need two if I am really honest.”
Allardyce said he had been looking for a left-back “for the last ten days” but “found it very difficult to find one to come and join us”.
Pardew knows Tomkins well from his time at West Ham, with the Newcastle boss also scouting a number of Europe-based defenders.
With Newcastle close to securing a deal for Marseille striker Loic Remy, the St James’ Park manager said they were beginning to make progress with a number of targets.
"We are pursuing three or four players and they all seem to be warming up a bit. We need a bigger pool of players," he said at the weekend.