By Wayne Veysey

21st May, 2017 | 9:24am

Betting latest: Newcastle installed strong-odds favourites to sign 26-yr-old

By Harry Sykes

Newcastle United have been installed as the strong-odds favourites to sign Fulham attacking midfielder Tom Cairney, according to the latest bookmakers’ odds.

Sky Bet priced the newly-promoted club at 5/4 on Sunday morning to land Cairney before the forthcoming transfer window shuts.

Newcastle are a long way ahead of rival clubs in the betting for the race to sign the 26-year-old, with Bournemouth second favourites at 5/1, and then Swansea and West Ham more distant at 12/1 and 14/1 respectively.

Newcastle’s position as clear favourites for one of the Championship’s outstanding players comes after reports that their interest is about to reignited after they failed to prise the Scotland international from Fulham in the January window.

The Telegraph claim Rafael Benitez’s side are preparing a formal bid of £12million for Cairney who, in turn, is flattered by Newcastle’s interest and is ready to tell the west Londoners that he wants to join the north-east giants.

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Cairney has a contract with Fulham that runs until 2019 with an option for a further 12 months but is said to be ready to push for a move after they suffered promotion heartache with a play-off semi-final defeat at the hands of Reading in midweek.

Benitez is stepping up preparations for the north-east club’s return to the Premier League after they stormed to the Championship title.

Cairney has caught the eye of clubs, pundits and fans with his ability to dictate the play from a central attacking midfielder role behind the main striker.

His statistics also stand up to close scrutiny, with his 51 Fulham appearances this season yielding 13 goals and a further 12 assists.

In other Newcastle United transfer news, the club have sealed a sensational record-breaking deal worth £24million.

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