Newcastle United have upped their offer for Sevilla defender Diego Carlos, who has become their number one defensive target, 90min can confirm.
An opening bid of just under £30m was turned down, and now sources have confirmed that an offer around £33m has been presented to Sevilla - however it is understood that the Spanish side will demand in excess of £40m for the Brazilian.
Sevilla are enjoying an outstanding campaign and currently sit second in La Liga, with one of the best defensive units in Europe with Carlos and Jules Kounde - a target for Chelsea - forming a brilliant centre-half partnership.
Sevilla do not want to split up Kounde and Carlos, with the Frenchman set to wait until the summer before sealing his move away, but we understand that the Brazilian is open to moving to Newcastle and the Premier League this month.
Carlos has been locked in talks over a new long-term deal since late last year with Sevilla's influential director Monchi, who had stated in December that a new contract was all but done, but that now appears to have been complicated by Newcastle's interest.
Carlos is not demanding a move, but he is keen to be kept informed of Newcastle's actions and his representatives are aware of the sort of contract on offer at St James' Park. Sources believe that Sevilla are growing increasingly concerned that they might not be able to keep hold of the South American.
Newcastle would ideally like to have Carlos signed before this weekend's clash with Watford, but they realise that time is against them.
It's a similar situation with Reims striker Hugo Ekitike, whom Newcastle are desperate to bring in before Saturday's crunch game.