CELTIC have been encouraged to renew their interest in Leon Best, the Newcastle United striker who turned down a January deadline-day move to Parkhead.

The 25-year-old has no future at St James' Park, where he has one year left on his current deal, with sources in the north-east last night suggesting Alan Pardew's side would accept a fee in the region of £1m for the Republic of Ireland internationalist, who missed out on Giovanni Trapattoni's Euro 2012 squad.

Having moved north from Coventry City when Newcastle were in the Championship, the player's wage demands – he is currently thought to earn in the region of £12,000-£15,000 a week – should not prove to be insurmountable, but it remains to be seen whether his decision to reject a loan move to Celtic in January will count against him.

Neil Lennon has made no secret of his quest for a bustling, British-style target man, and the 6ft 1in Best fits the bill in that regard. He may also be seen as a more affordable option than Scotland striker Jordan Rhodes, whose side Huddersfield Town are weighing up interest from Premier League sides West Ham United, Fulham, Everton and Reading, a factor which could push his transfer value in excess of £5m and out of the Parkhead side's reach.

Ironically, the prospects of a move for Best may be boosted by the departure of Alan Thompson from the backroom staff. The former Newcastle academy coach is thought to have counselled against the signing of the player, who himself has had his share of run-ins with the St James' Park hierarchy.

The player, however, started no fewer than 19 games for Newcastle as they finished fifth in the Barclays Premier League last season, scoring four times in the process. He has hardly featured since the turn of the year, however, due to combination of a knee problem and the sparkling form of strike duo Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba.