Newcastle United have reportedly spoken about the possibility of moving for Fulham midfielder Tom Cairney at the end of the season.
According to the Daily Star, Magpies boss Rafael Benitez is discussing with the club’s recruitment chiefs about summer targets and the 28-year-old has been mentioned.
The report details that he is “almost certain” to leave Craven Cottage in the summer, with the club staring relegation from the Premier League square in the face barring a miraculous late escape.
Cairney, who earns £40,000-a-week (Spotrac), is a target that Newcastle should tread carefully with.
The Scotland international was brilliant in helping Fulham secure promotion from the Championship last season and has really thrived in England’s second-tier in recent years.
But this season the step up to the Premier League has caught him out at times and Newcastle should be looking for some improvement from him before the end of the season before making a move.
Cairney is a central midfielder who is most effective when he controls possession for his side and also offers an attacking threat pushing forward.
The left-footed is yet to score in 26 appearances across all competitions this campaign and also has spells in and out of the team.
He looks likely to get an extended run with Scott Parker during the remaining games and he needs to try show he can make an influence in the top flight.
Cairney doesn’t get the time and space to operate in the Premier League like the Championship, which is why he needs to try be a little smarter in the final third.
There are already several strong options in the midfield at St James’ Park and Cairney needs to bring something different if Newcastle are to chase him.