By Tom Blackburn

Newcastle are one of several clubs chasing FC Utrecht striker Sebastian Haller, according to a reliable journalist.

L’Equipe claim in their Thursday print edition, as cited by the Chronicle, that it is Sporting Lisbon who are leading the chase for Haller, 22, but Newcastle have also made contact.

The report claims that Sporting Lisbon are already in talks with the striker but Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez is desperate to sign him.

The interest of the north-east giants was subsequently corroborated by reliable Chronicle journalist Lee Ryder on his personal Twitter account.

French website France Football last month claimed that Everton were leading the chase to win the forward’s signature as they are financially stronger than the other suitors.

Haller scored 24 goals and provided six assists in 42 games in all competitions last season for F.C Utrecht.

In addition to Newcastle and Everton, other Premier League clubs including Norwich, Tottenham, Swansea and Sunderland have been linked with Haller.

Newcastle have outspent all of their Championship rivals in this transfer window by recruiting a host of Premier League players, with pair Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie costing a combined £22million.

They picked up their first points of the season on Wednesday night in an emphatic 4-1 victory over Reading.

New signings Ritchie and Gayle both scored to ease worries, after the club lost their opening two league matches against Fulham and Huddersfield.

In other Newcastle transfer news, they warn Everton not to mess around over transfer as reported talks planned.