On newspaper reports today that Aston Villa’s James Collins has emerged at the top of the list.
However . Mackem boss Martin O’Neill – who signed Collins for Villa – has also been linked with a move for the Wales international.
Collins has 18 months left on his Villa Park deal, and could cost as much as £5m.
Pardew has been given the green light to sign a defender after losing Steven Taylor for the rest of the season to an Achilles injury.