Phil Hay reports in the YEP that a request for discussions about McCormack’s availability is understood to have been made by Newcastle at the start of this week as the Scotland international and United’s other players returned to Elland Road for meetings with owner Massimo Cellino.
The Premier League side are yet to table an offer for McCormack – valued at around £6m by Leeds – but an expression of interest from St James’ Park is likely to be followed by further enquiries from other English clubs.
Newcastle are in the market for three new strikers this summer and have lined up the signing of 20-year-old Ayoze Perez from Tenerife.
At least one of the remaining two forwards will be sourced from the English leagues, however, and Newcastle have already approached Burnley over Danny Ings – the striker who narrowly beat McCormack to the Championship’s player-of-the-year award this season.
Ings has only 12 months left on his contract at Turf Moor but McCormack is tied down until 2017 having signed a four-year deal with Leeds last summer, an agreement which made him one of the club’s top earners.
The 27-year-old finished the recent term as the Championship’s leading scorer with 29 goals and swept the board at United’s player-of-the-year awards ceremony last month.
Leeds retained him throughout the campaign despite receiving bids from West Ham United and Cardiff City in the January transfer window but numerous clubs have been linked with McCormack since the season finished on May 3.
He and Cellino spoke on Monday afternoon during a series of one-to-one meetings held between United’s owner and the playing staff.