Newcastle given response to last-ditch attempt to land attacker, Benitez a big fan - report
By Danny Wright
Newcastle have made a last-ditch swoop for Fulham’s attacking midfielder Tom Cairney, according to a report.
The Guardian claimed on their live transfer blog on Thursday evening [06:17pm] that the Magpies have offered the Championship promotion contenders striker Dwight Gayle in a straight swap deal for Cairney, 26, after seeing a bid of £20million rejected earlier this summer.
It is understood that this player exchange deal has also been rejected by the Cottagers.
Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic confirmed in June that he had kicked into touch a big-money offer from the Magpies, who have now appeared to have made one final attempt to land the Scotland international on deadline day.
Rafa Benitez is said to be a big fan of the Fulham attacker after he almost let the Thameside club to promotion last term by scoring a stunning 13 goals and supplying 12 assists in 51 appearances across all competitions.
Gayle is facing an uncertain future at St. James’ Park following widespread reports that he has been deemed surplus to requirements by Benitez after suffering continual hamstring injuries.
Football Insider Verdict
Benitez seems to be in awe of Cairney and with the club strapped for funds, his audacious £20million bid earlier this summer just shows how much he thinks of him. If that deal went through it would have seriously hampered the number of signings Newcastle would have made this summer. The Scot is a great player and is definitely Premier League standard but Fulham’s high asking-price and his professional attitude has been what has kept him at Craven Cottage by the looks of it this summer. There’s still time for Gayle to be farmed out, but as every hour passes, it looks less and less likely.
In other Newcastle news, the Magpies have planned a medical to take place on Tyneside before 11pm.