Steve Bruce hopes to sign Valentino Lazaro from Inter despite fearing a rival club could pounce following news of Newcastle United's interest.
Lazaro has struggled to make an impact at San Siro since signing from Hertha Berlin ahead of the season, and the Nerazzurri have now brought in Ashley Young from Manchester United while being linked with Chelsea's Victor Moses.
Those moves would appear to allow the Austria international to leave, and his agent was pictured in Newcastle at the 1-0 win over Chelsea.
Bruce confirmed the club's interest on Monday, with Schalke midfielder Nabil Bentaleb also reportedly en route to Tyneside, but was unsure of progress on the Lazaro deal.
"We hope [Lazaro will sign]. I think it's fairly common knowledge now that the agent was at St James' Park at the weekend," Bruce told a news conference ahead of facing Everton. "We hope that we can develop it.
"Unfortunately, when it gets out like it did, it adds to the competition. We'll see. We'll see what the next 24 to 48 hours bring."
However, it appears Newcastle will be forced to make further moves as their injury crisis shows no sign of subsiding.
Left-backs Jetro Willems and Paul Dummett have both suffered season-ending issues in recent days, leaving only Matt Ritchie – himself just returning to fitness – in that position.
"It's what we feared [with Willems], he's ruptured his anterior cruciate [ligament] and will miss, obviously, the rest of the season," Bruce said. "And we've had bad news on Dummett, too.
"It's not looking so good for him as well – it looks like he's probably ruled out for the rest of the season as well with a tendon injury in his leg.
"It's been a bad weekend in that respect. We wish them well and hope for a speedy recovery.
"Things change in two or three days. We have got funds available, we are active at this moment. Because of what's just happened, we're short in that area.
"We might have to look and see if we can do anything in the short term. We'll see what we can do, see who's out there."