Newcastle United want to sign Fulham playmaker Tom Cairney this summer and are willing to sell Dwight Gayle in part-exchange, Football Insider understands.
Rafael Benitez is a long-term admirer of the Scotland international and his interest has not waned even though Cairney has had a mixed season in the Premier League.
A club source has told Football Insider that Benitez is convinced left-footed Cairney has the creativity and passing range to be a major asset in his Newcastle side and is keen on a summer deal.
The manager is ready to permanently sell Gayle, who has been on fire while on loan at West Brom this season, scoring 21 Championship goals from 30 starts to put them on course for a place in the end of season play-offs.
Benitez does not think Gayle has the touch and power to score consistently at Premier League level and wants to use Fulham’s interest in the centre-forward as leverage in their Cairney pursuit.
The number 10 has scored just one goal and supplied one assist for Fulham from 30 appearances this season after being instrumental in their promotion campaign in 2017-18.
In other Newcastle United news, the club are eager to sign a 30-goal striker who has headed in for a trial.