The 21-year-old was somewhat surprisingly released by new Ipswich boss Roy Keane, causing a stir among keen admirers of the now free agent.
And after making his interest clear, Magpies boss Ian McParland has made a firm offer for the Irishman, who scored 17 goals this season while on loan at Darlington, Northampton and Brentford.
McParland told the club's official website: "Billy is in Ireland at the moment following a family bereavement so we haven't actually had chance to meet up with him, but I have spoken at length with his agent.
"Maybe it's a long shot that we will get him if Championship clubs are involved but you get nothing if you don't try. I've made a firm offer to Billy's agent and he knows we are serious about signing him.
"Hopefully we will get the chance to sit down with Billy in the next couple of weeks and talk things over. If we can do that, I think we will be able to convince him that he ought to seriously consider joining us."