By Will Butcher
Newcastle have thrown their hat into the ring to sign Leicester City forward Tom Lawrence, according to a report.
The Daily Mail claim the 23-year-old, who has shone in a disappointing Ipswich Town side this season while on loan, is also interesting Burnley, Sunderland, Derby, Norwich and Cardiff.
It is believed that a number of enquiries have been received by Claudio Ranieri’s side from interested clubs, as the four-time Wales international continues to sparkle for the Tractor Boys.
Lawrence, who was brought up in Manchester United’s youth academy, has had a hand in 10 of Ipswich’s 28 Championship goals this season.
Providing five of them in assists, Lawrence has found the back of the net against the likes Sheffield Wednesday, QPR and Blackburn.
Known for his versatility in attack, Lawrence can play on both flanks, as a number 10 or even as a centre-forward but is predominantly known for his impact from a wide-left position.
With his current Leicester contract ending in less than 18 months, manager Rafa Benitez could bring Lawrence to St. James’ Park in order to bolster his options on the flanks as he looks to secure an instant return to the Premier League.
It is said that Leicester would consider offers of just £1million for the Wales international.
Football Insider verdict:
The Toon are in desperate need of width. With Sammy Ameobi’s uncertain future, Rolando Aarons’ long-term knee injury and Christian Atsu’s participation at the Africa Cup of Nations, former Liverpool boss Benitez has been left with just Yoann Gouffran and Matt Ritchie out wide. Bringing in Championship quality in Lawrence, who has proven that he is worth a lot more than the touted figure of £1million, could play a crucial part in helping the Toon secure an automatic promotion slot back to the top flight. Able to offer cover as a playmaker in between the opposition’s defence and midfield as well as being able to lead the line himself, Lawrence would be a top signing should he be brought to the north East.
In other Newcastle transfer news, Toon and Aston Villa fans have reacted on Twitter as this former England international has been handed a new contract.