Nice boss Lucien Favre has warned Newcastle United that Amine Gouiri and Jean-Clair Todibo are not for sale this summer.
The French pair are two of several names to be linked with the Magpies as Eddie Howe aims to bolster his squad for the upcoming Premier League season.
Out of the two, striker Gouiri is the most likely deal United would target with the £35million arrival of Sven Botman making signing a central defender a lesser priority.
A report from Foot Mercato earlier this week claimed Newcastle and Manchester United were interested in the £17m+ rated defender but unless a player leaves, Howe will stick with the defence he has currently.
However, it is no secret that Howe is keen to recruit a young striker as another option to Callum Wilson and Chris Wood.
United thought that would be Reims star Hugo Ekitike, however a move has stalled after a dispute over agent fees.
Newcastle are exploring the market and Gouiri, whose rumoured price tag is £50m+, is a name that has been mentioned, particularly in the French media.
Amine Gouiri and Jean-Clair Todibo not for sale
Favre, recently appointed as Christophe Galtier’s successor at Nice, has ruled out Gouiri - and teammate Todibo - leaving the club
“Gouiri and Thuram will stay, for sure,” Favre, who was linked with Newcastle before Howe was appointed head coach in November, said. “Todibo too.”
“They will stay – it’s important to master transfer windows, one or two players can make a huge difference in a team.”
As striking options go, United have registered an interest in Chelsea’s Armando Broja.
The Albanian international scored nine goals during his loan spell with Southampton last season.