This week has brought reports of claimed Newcastle United interest in signing Ryan Shawcross this summer.
The 29 year old central defender has only a year left to run on his contract and Rafa Benitez will make his move this summer once promotion is confirmed, according to the Independent.
Bookies have installed St James Park as the 5/4 favourite to be the next destination for the Stoke City defender, with fellow promotion hopefuls Brighton the 3/1 second favourites.
Ryan Shawcross has often been linked with the teams at the top but never made the move. I must admit I can’t help thinking that there is little difference between Shawcross and Gary Cahill, apart from the fact that the latter moved on to Chelsea and as a result becomes an England regular, whereas the Stoke player has only had 16 minutes in a friendly.
Only missing a couple of games through injury this campaign, Ryan Shawcross is still first choice for Mark Hughes and has played 29 times in the Premier League this season.
Mark Hughes has now been asked about the reports of Newcastle United interest.
The Stoke boss insisting that he is now hoping to sit down with Ryan Shawcross and try to get him to sign a new deal to keep him at the club.
No new contract contract had been made up this point, which is a bit strange, as clubs usually look to get first team players on new contracts before it reaches that 12 months to go point and their negotiating position is so much weaker.
Ryan Shawcross turns 30 in October so it depends on how valuable Stoke still see Shawcross as being, which would dictate what was on offer in terms of both cash and length of contract.
“We’re looking to sit down and re-contract him, along with others.
“That would make sense for everybody.
“Talk of a move is pure speculation.”
Ciaran Clark is indisputably Newcastle’s best current defender and a possible Shawcross/Clark combination would be an interesting proposition.
This is exactly the type of potential transfer where you could see Rafa Benitez and Mike Ashley not seeing eye to eye on.
The Manager seeing an experienced and ready-made Captain who could be a big asset in helping Newcastle adjust to life/survive in the top tier again.
Whilst on the other hand, the NUFC owner will no doubt see a player who will turn 30 two months into the season and with no probable resale value, would still cost probably at least £10m and would expect to be on top Premier League level wages.
Newcastle were linked with Ryan Shawcross ahead of summer 2014 but nothing came of it, as Mike Ashley refused to look at established Premier League players and instead went for ‘bargains’ overseas.
Newcastle supporters will no doubt be hoping for exciting signings at the front end of the team if promoted – but the defence is certainly also desperately needing extra quality.