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Betting update: Newcastle installed second favourites to sign PL striker (not Defoe or Sturridge)

By Will Butcher

Newcastle have been installed as second favourites to pen the signature of Southampton forward Jay Rodriguez, according to the latest odds.

Bet Victor have made Newcastle odds of 5/1 to sign the one-time England international, who has endured a difficult season under Claude Puel.

Only West Brom are slightly ahead of them with the bookmaker – the Baggies are 4/1 favourites to complete a summer move for the 27-year-old forward, while Crystal Palace and Swansea are at 8/1.

Everton, Tottenham, Liverpool and Leicester are back out at 12/1 to sign the former Burnley striker, while Hull, Brighton, Cardiff, Stoke and Sunderland are also credited with a price.

The Daily Mail claimed last month that manager Rafa Benitez was eyeing a £12million move for Rodriguez, as Shane Long and Manolo Gabbiadini continue to be preferred on the south coast.

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The Sun claim Benitez has also identified Jermain Defoe as a possible striker target, while the Chronicle claims Sturridge is another striker high on Benitez’s summer radar.

This season, Rodriguez has managed just five goals in 32 league and cup encounters, starting just 15 of those outings.

Southampton’s number nine has a contract at St. Mary’s Stadium until the summer of 2019, but could be tempted to leave with the Toon likely to offer first-team football.

Football Insider verdict:

Rodriguez would be a top signing for any side likely to finish in the bottom half of the Premier League, as he is a proven goalscorer in England’s top flight and is renowned for his ability to produce something out of nothing. However, Benitez is set to reshuffle his squad and if he is to bring in the likes of Rodriguez or another striker, the Toon must offload one, if not two of their current strikers. Target man Daryl Murphy has been used on an intermittent basis this season since his summer move from Ipswich and should be sold by Benitez, while the future of Aleksandar Mitrovic also looks to be in doubt.

In other Newcastle transfer news, this 25-year-old attacker has given an update on his future.

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