Kevin Phillips is expecting Newcastle United to make a statement of intent with their first signings this summer as they battle with the Premier League elite for top stars.

The former England international, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, suggested the Magpies could compete with the likes of Everton and Arsenal for players in the upcoming window.

Football Insider understands Newcastle are in pole position to sign sought-after Lille midfielder Boukary Soumare.

Steve Bruce’s side had a £35million bid accepted for the 21-year-old in January, and despite a lucrative contract offer, the Ligue 1 star rebuffed the approach.

A host of Premier League clubs, including Liverpool and Manchester United, have been linked with the 21-year-old in recent weeks.

When asked by Football Insider if the Magpies can compete with the Premier League’s elite in the transfer market, Phillips said: “They will possibly have the same draw as an Everton or Arsenal.

“If Manchester United or Manchester City come in for a player you would opt for one of those clubs at the moment.

“If the takeover goes through and they make a statement of intent with the first couple of signings it will then draw other players to the club. It will be massively tempting.

“Everyone knows what the support is like up there, a wonderful stadium with one hell of a support.

“The first couple of signings will be crucial.”

Soumare has made 30 appearances in all competitions this season with the French league having been declared finished earlier this week.

The decision is to be hugely detrimental to Lille financially and the club may be forced into selling their prized asset at a cut-price.

A deal would be subject to the PCP Partners £300million takeover over at St. James’ Park which is still in the process of being ratified by the Premier League.

In other Newcastle United news, Paul Robinson has told Football Insider Dutch 23-year-old would be “outstanding” signing.