Alan Pardew has joined the £8.25million battle to sign Cagliari striker Victor Ibarbo.

The Newcastle boss has made recruiting a forward a priority with Shola Ameobi, Loic Remy and flop Luuk de Jong leaving at the end of a traumatic season for the club.

Long-serving Nigeria international Ameobi was freed after 14 years at St James’ Park, while Remy and de Jong returned to their respective parent clubs, QPR and Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Pardew was alerted to Ibarbo, 24, after the Colombia striker said a switch to the Premier League appealed.

But Pardew faces stiff competition with Barcelona, Stuttgart, Juventus and Napoli all chasing him. Ibarbo, who has 12 months left on his contract in Italy, is also a target for new Leeds owner Massimo Cellino, who this week agreed to sell Cagliari to US investors for £69m.