Joe Kinnear has urged Mike Ashley to kick-start Newcastle United’s recruitment drive this week as the club ponder a second bid for top striker target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Kinnear has meetings planned in Newcastle today but The Journal understands he has told Ashley he wants to have delivered a first new signing by Friday, when he is set to take a short, pre-planned break with his family. He has been working in tandem with Graham Carr over the last week and has also been in regular contact with Ashley, who has sanctioned a first offer for the St Etienne forward. Aubameyang is highly rated after a stunning season in Ligue 1 but has been impressed with Newcastle’s resolve to sign him, and French sources say he would welcome the opportunity to talk to the club. But it appears as if St Etienne want to spark a bidding war for the player and believe they can raise around £17million for the Gabon striker. It would be a major statement of intent from Ashley if he was prepared to go to the French club’s asking price – but also a boon for the new management structure at the club. Kinnear is understood to have stressed to Ashley that delivering a signing would give his new role instant credibility and lift the club’s players, who – minus those involved in internationals since the end of last season – are set to report back for medical tests and the start of pre-season training on Wednesday. Kinnear is yet to come to the North East and his diary is led by the business that he is trying to do alongside Carr, of whom he spoke effusively about last week. The club’s chief scout recommended Aubameyang to the Newcastle owner over a year ago, and has made another convincing case to Ashley – who watched him in person at the turn of the year. Although the summer has been quiet so far, club sources believe activity will hot up this month. Although no offer has been made for the midfielder, United are braced for interest to be formalised in Yohan Cabaye over the next few weeks. Paris-Saint Germain and Monaco are both interested – along with AS Roma, who are now managed by his former Lille boss Rudi Garcia. A host of other players have been linked with moves away from St James’ Park – with Cheick Tioté, Sylvain Marveaux and Hatem Ben Arfa all interesting clubs in Russia. Ben Arfa is keen to stay at Newcastle, however.