Newcastle have been given permission to speak to Wigan striker Arouna Kone.
The 29-year-old has a clause in his contract allowing him to leave the DW Stadium in the wake of relegation from the Barclays Premier League.
News of the Magpies' interest in Kone emerged through the website of owner Mike Ashley's sportswear company, www.sportsdirectnews.com.
It is not yet clear whether or not Newcastle have agreed a fee with Wigan for the proposed transfer, but they are sure to face stiff competition from Everton.
Papiss Cisse carried the burden of providing the goals following Ba's exit, and although he too struck 13 times in total, he alone was unable to prevent the club slipping into a relegation fight.
Newcastle have been chasing St Etienne's Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, but have been unable to compete with Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund, while they remain in the hunt for Aston Villa's Darren Bent, but are not prepared to pay anywhere near the midlands club's £8million valuation of the 29-year-old, and Kone would be significantly cheaper.