By Harvey Byrne
Newcastle are lining up a £6million move for Burnley hitman Ashley Barnes, according to a report.
ESPN claimed earlier in the week that the north east giants were interested in the 27-year-old forward alongside south east London outfit Crystal Palace.
Now, the Mirror have stated in their live transfer blog on Thursday afternoon (3.34pm) that the Magpies are readying a seven-figure bid for the striker with Palace also keen on his signature.
Barnes has started in each of Burnley’s last six Premier League matches, but he has returned just one goal and one assist in those appearances and Sean Dyche’s have picked up just one victory while suffering three defeats and two draws.
His total for the season stands at six goals and three assists in 27 top-flight encounters and he still has three years remaining on his current deal at the Lancashire outfit.
However, Dyche may be looking for improvements in his forward line this summer with his side now guaranteed safety and Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez will be looking for players who he feels can help his side remain in the Premier League after winning the Championship.
Football Insider verdict:
Barnes may be odd signing for Newcastle and he certainly won’t be one to get the fans excited despite being a forward. However, £6million is not that much for a Premier League club these days and considering that Barnes is more of a Daryl Murphy type striker than an out and out goal scorer like Dwight Gayle the Spaniard may be thinking about this transfer in a tactical viewpoint. It is clear that Gayle will need support up top if he is to make an impact in the English top-flight next season and signing Barnes could help bring out the best in this season’s 23-goal striker.
In other Newcastle transfer news, Michael Bridges has revealed he told the Magpies to sign this Premier League ace three years a go.