By Wayne Veysey

25th Apr, 2017 | 11:50am

England striker is the most likely player to sign Newcastle this summer - Sky whispers

By Harry Sykes

Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez is the most likely player to join Newcastle in the summer transfer window, according to a report.

Sky Sports’ transfer centre regularly plugs its Football Whispers section, which claimed on Tuesday morning that the forward, 27, is the likeliest St James’ Park arrival.

This comes soon after the Mail reported that Newcastle are closely monitoring Rodriguez as they attempt to strengthen ahead of their return to the Premier League next season.

It is said that West Brom are also pushing to sign Rodriguez, who is keen for a move away from St Mary’s Stadium to kickstart his career.

Football Whispers, which gathers all transfer rumours across the globe and calculates the likelihood of them happening, rates it 2.5 out of 5 that Rodriguez will join Newcastle, with five the highest possible ranking and meaning it is a certainty.

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The former Burnley front man is ahead in the ratings of Fulham playmaker Tom Cairney, who has a rating of 2.0, and Burnley attacking midfielder Scott Arfield, whose rating of moving to the north-east giants is 1.4.

Rodriguez made his England debut against Chile in November and was widely tipped to make the national side’s squad at the 2014 World Cup before suffering a knee ligament injury in April of that year that sidelined him for 18 months.

He has made 28 appearances for Southampton this season and scored five goals but has been unable to nail down a regular starting place.

Rodriguez is contracted to the Saints until the summer of 2019.

In other Newcastle transfer news, fans have reacted to the club’s fascinating pursuit of a £20million goal and assist machine ripping up the league.

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