Newcastle are targeting Fulham midfielder Steed Malbranque as they look to increase their attacking resources.

The 26-year-old Frenchman has been identified as a potential supplier for England striker Michael Owen, Shola Ameobi and whoever is recruited during the summer to replace retired skipper Alan Shearer.

Malbranque is out of contract at Craven Cottage at the end of next season and, having seen a proposed move to Manchester City fall through in January, is reportedly a target for Liverpool among other clubs.

However, the Magpies, who have already set their sights on Shaun Wright-Phillips as a possible summer signing, are hopeful of faring better than they did when they tried to lure Portuguese international Luis Boa Morte from Chris Coleman’s grasp.

The Welshman dug in his heels last summer despite Graeme Souness’ persistence, and eventually got his wish when Boa Morte signed a new contract.

Fulham are thought to value former French under-21 international Malbranque at £6m – although that is significantly higher than the fee the Magpies are prepared to pay.