Newcastle United have been linked with a summer signing of Reece Burke.

The West Ham defender only has one year left on his contract and The Mail report that Newcastle have shown ‘firm interest’ in taking the central defender to Tyneside.

Burke turns 20 in September and spent last season on loan in League One with Bradford City, making such an impression in his 36 appearances that he was named Bradford’s player of the year.

Southampton and Manchester City are also credited with interest in the central defender who can play at right-back as well.

West Ham fans have reacted with some scepticism to the transfer story, questioning both why the club would be interested in letting one of their rising stars leave, as well as why Reece Burke would consider leaving when the Hammers appear to be a club on the rise.

With Mike Williamson leaving earlier this year, Coloccini expected to return to Argentina and Steven Taylor not getting another contract, it looks as though the club will be three centre-backs down from the position at the turn of the year.

Coloccini has said that Rafa Benitez is looking to have a defence based on players under 25 next season and Kevin Mbabu has agreed a contract extension, the Swiss player able to play right across the backline.

However, maybe there is a middle ground and an up and coming player like Reece Burke could be looking at spending a season on loan in the Championship to continue his progress towards football in the Premier League. WIth Newcastle a potential destination if it suits both clubs and the player himself.

Newcastle United used a lot of loan players in their last promotion campaign, including Chelsea’s then left-back Patrick van Aanholt, who is now at Sunderland.