Newcastle United striker Yoshinori Muto is ‘unlikely’ to move to Cologne, despite reports suggesting they were interested in his signature.

The Japanese striker is expected to leave St James Park this summer, having struggled to make an impact in the North East since his arrival two years ago.

He was linked with a return to the Bundesliga on Sunday, with Fussball Transfers claiming that Newcastle were ‘considering’ loaning the 28-year-old out and that Cologne were among several Germans sides to ‘put out feelers’.

That, though, has been dismissed by Express, who say that the player’s ‘high salary’ make a move ‘unlikely at the moment’ and the links are actually down to ‘offers from consultants’ instead.

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It’s not a categorical dismissal of the idea though. Instead, the suggestion is that Cologne simply don’t have the money for a deal right now but wouldn’t rule it out if the finances are right.

That is very much the tone, with Express explaining that while Cologne do need a striker they also need someone who is ‘affordable’.

Therefore, if Newcastle are desperate to get rid, perhaps a deal wherein they cover some of Muto’s wages could get the Bundesliga side around a table for talks.