By Will Butcher
Newcastle are set to rival Premier League outfit West Brom for Leeds left-back Charlie Taylor, according to a report.
The 23-year-old Elland Road academy product is out of contract in the summer and is free to talk to non-English clubs from January 1 if he does not sign a new deal with Garry Monk’s in-form side.
The Shields Gazette have claimed that the Baggies will face competition from Newcastle for the signature of the highly-rated defender, who has missed just two of Leeds’ 20 league and cup fixtures.
Taylor has the same agent as former Leeds star Sam Byram, who eventually forced through a January move to West Ham after rejecting a new contract earlier this year.
A similar situation could occur with Taylor, who has been in impressive form on the left side of both Leeds’ defence and attack.
West Brom are on the lookout for a left-back, with new signing Allan Nyom playing out of position on the left side of defence since manager Tony Pulis’ relationship with loan signing Brendan Galloway broke down.
Newcastle are also keen to sign a left-back, despite the likes of Paul Dummett, Massadio Haidara and Achraf Lazaar already in Benitez’s impressive squad.
Taylor could reach 100 league and cup appearances for his boyhood club before a move, after making a total of 90 fixtures in all competitions.
Football Insider verdict:
A move to Newcastle for Taylor would be a surprising one. With the Toon possessing an abundance of left-backs in Haidara, Lazaar and Dummett, a transfer to the North East could see Taylor struggle to hold down a first-team slot. Despite being a mainstay in the Leeds side, Rafa Benitez’s regular rotation policy at St. James’ Park could also put Leeds’ number 21 off. A move away from Elland Road certainly looks more likely to occur though, with no contract on the table from Monk’s side as time runs out on his Leeds deal.
In other Newcastle transfer news, a January deal for this playmaker has been given a huge boost.