By support

24th Apr, 2017 | 8:07am

Scouts deployed: Newcastle make 26-year-old playmaker a priority signing

By Dominic Toner

Newcastle are keen on signing Fulham midfielder Tom Cairney, according to a report.

The Daily Mirror claim that the Magpies will move for the 26-year-old once they secure promotion back to the Premier League.

It is understood that Rafael Benitez is a big admirer of the central midfielder and scouts were deployed to watch him feature for Fulham on Saturday.

The report details that Newcastle have made signing the playmaker a priority, but Premier League duo Bournemouth and Burley are considering summer moves.

Benitez’s side are on the brink of promotion from the Championship and will confirm their return to the top flight if they avoid defeat at home to Preston on Monday night.

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They will surely be looking to improve their squad for next season and Cairney has been picked out as a main target.

The Scotland international could still end up in the play-offs this season and has played a major role in Fulham’s form.

He has made 47 appearances across all competitions, scoring 11 goals and supplying 12 assists in return.

Football Insider verdict:

Newcastle will certainly need to bolster their squad for next season and Cairney would be a great addition. The 26-year-old is entering the peak of his career and has been sensational for Fulham this season. He would give the Magpies some extra goalscoring power from midfield and has scored some cracking long-range strikes this season. A potential midfield combination of Cairney and Jojno Shelvey is an exciting one, plus have the look of one that could compete in the Premier League. People may be concerned of just the 11 top-flight appearances he has under his belt, but now seems like the right time for him to kick on with his career and Benitez could be the perfect mentor.

In other Newcastle transfer news, they have been installed the favourites to sign a 25-goal striker.

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