Date: 7th December 2016 at 9:59am
Written by:

By Will Butcher

Newcastle are set to keep hold of Aleksander Mitrovic in January despite Premier League interest in the striker, according to a report.

The Evening Chronicle claim that manager Rafa Benitez wants to add to his squad in January, rather than lose his best players.

The 22-year-old is reportedly the subject of interest from two top-flight clubs as summer signing Dwight Gayle continues to keep him out of the starting line up.

According to the Daily Star, West Ham are keen on signing the forward, but face competition from London rivals Crystal Palace for his signature.

The Chronicle report that Mitrovic might command a £15million fee.

Serbia international Mitrovic has watched on from the substitute’s bench this season, as Gayle’s goals continue to propel the Toon to the top of the Championship table.

Newcastle’s number 45 has made just four league starts for the Magpies this season, making seven substitute appearances.

Signed from Anderlecht last year, the striker has scored five goals in all competitions as he continues to fight for a place in the side alongside target man Daryl Murphy.

Football Insider verdict:

Keeping a player of Mitrovic’s calibre on the bench at St. James’ Park will be a huge plus on the pitch for Rafa Benitez, but could cause a headache off of it. Mitrovic, who is known for his lack of temperament after already picking up six red cards in his young career, is likely to become restless on Tyneside. With the knowledge that clubs are becoming interested in the Serbian, Mitrovic could look to persuade Benitez that he deserves more first-team football or he will leave. Newcastle could be tempted to cash in on the young star with Murphy waiting in the wings and other areas needing investment.

In other Newcastle transfer news, Benitez is eyeing a move for this Euro sensation.