By Russell Edge
Newcastle have been named as one of the favourites to secure the signing of Bournemouth defender Steve Cook hours after securing promotion to the Premier League.
Ladbrokes have placed odds of 11/2 on the Tyneside club landing the 26-year-old, making them second favourites behind Premier League side Watford.
The Hornets are placed at 7/4, followed by the Magpies, and then Southampton (6/1), West Brom (7/1) and West Ham (8/1) with Cook likely to be in high demand following another season of consistency at the South coast side.
Monday night’s 4-1 victory over Preston North End mathematically secured Newcastle’s return to the top flight at the first time of asking, and Rafael Benitez will already have begun his search for new recruits to add to his squad.
However, Benitez is likely to face fierce competition for Cook’s signing, with the Daily Mail reporting that Walter Mazzarri is keen on taking the versatile defender to Vicarage Road.
Cook has been a key man in Eddie Howe’s side this season, making 34 appearances for the Cherries as they look set for another season in England’s top flight, following their promotion back in 2015.
The English centre-back, who can also operate on the right side of defence, has been at the Vitality stadium since 2011 and has played a key role in their rise from League One into the Premier League.
In other Newcastle transfer news, Aleksandar Mitrovic has claimed the Championship is harder than the Premier League.