Newcastle to reignite swoop for midfield maestro after £20m summer failure - report
By Russell Edge
Newcastle United are looking to make a January swoop for long term target and Fulham midfielder Tom Cairney, according to a report.
The Northern Echo claim on their website that Rafael Benitez has made the midfield maestro his top transfer target for the winter window, having previously seen a move for the Scottish international fall through.
The report states that the Magpies made a summer approach for the 26-year-old, who can operate in central or attacking midfield roles, but saw their £20million bid rejected by the Cottagers.
Fulham’s club captain, Cairney has had to endure a difficult start to the season as a result of injuries, which have forced him to miss no less than eight games this season, limiting his playing time to just seven appearances, scoring once.
He has 11 Premier League appearances under his belt, coming during his time with Hull City, but has gained most of his experience in England’s second tier, with 226 Championship outings to his name.
Football Insider verdict
While many will point to the absence of a proven striker as the problem behind Newcastle’s lack of goals this season, there has been a lack of goal scoring opportunities for the forwards to feed off. Rafa Benitez already has a host of talent at his disposal in the centre of the park, but it is talent in the attacking midfield role which has been so desperately lacking this season. First team regular Ayoze Perez has failed to impress, while Mo Diame has looked off the pace in his appearances, and so the Spanish boss appears to be revisiting his former target to try and introduce some creativity to his squad. Cairney has proven himself in the Championship but making the step up to the top flight, where there is much less room for error, will be a challenge. The reported bid of £20million seems a lot for someone with a minimal amount of Premier League experience under his belt, plus it is not like he is a hot prospect at 26-years-old. Money is tight on Tyneside, and so Benitez will have to manage it wisely.
In other Newcastle United transfer news, the club have been named among the favourites to snap up this Premier League enforcer.