St Etienne quashed talk in January that their prized asset was on his way to the north east to complete a deal, but Alan Pardew has continued to monitor the progress of the forward.
Aubameyang has netted 35 times in 68 games and is understood to be the top target for the Magpies, who recently denied that they are in the market to bring back former front man Andy Carroll.
Christophe Galtier, who is the manager of the Ligue 1 side, revealed that he is reluctant to let his star man leave but believes that his hands are tied after he was told he could speak to other clubs at the end of the term.
Galtier said: "He has been given permission to leave, but for that permission to be given, there is a value attached. Of course I would like to keep him if I can."