By Russell Edge

Newcastle United have stepped up their attempts to secure the signing of Besiktas striker Cenk Tosun despite a rise in asking price, according to a report.

Football news website Turkish-Football claim that the Magpies, as well as Premier League rivals Crystal Palace, have increased their efforts to try and convince the Turkish club to part with their star striker.

It is said that Besiktas club president Fikret Orman is reluctant to see him depart and has increased his asking price for the 26-year-old from £17.7million to £20.6million (€20million – €23million), with the Magpies having reportedly tabled an offer of £17.5million earlier in the season.

The 23-time-capped Turkish hot shot has netted 10 goals in 15 appearances across all competitions for Besiktas, including four Champions League strikes, and is contracted at the club until 2019.

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This ongoing battle to secure Tosun’s signature is threatening to become a saga for Newcastle, who know they are in desperate need of some firepower up front after their start to the season. While they should be able to fight off Crystal Palace if it came to a straight fight, with the Eagles looking likely to remain embroiled in a relegation fight from now until the end of the season, money talks, and financial backing is not something that Rafael Benitez is likely to receive with Mike Ashley still in charge. A £20million bid would break the Magpies’ transfer record and with the Sports Direct supremo looking to sell up, it would be a miracle if he committed to that sort of spending.

In other Newcastle United transfer news, there have been offers tabled after the Magpies held talks about securing the signing of an international defender.

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