Newcastle United sent scouts to watch target Tom Cairney on Saturday according to reports this morning.
Rafa Benitez having made signing the Fulham midfielder a top priority this summer as reported by The Mirror and it’s claimed that they have been regularly watching the West London club’s star man.
Tom Cairney got an assist for Fulham’s winner on the opening day of the season against Newcastle and then pulled all the strings and scored a cracking goal of his own as the cottagers won 3-1 at St James Park last month.
On Saturday he was at it again, scoring a penalty and orchestrating a 4-1 away thrashing of Huddersfield, almost certainly ending Wagner’s hopes of automatic promotion.
The Mirror claim that Bournemouth and Burnley have also been watching the midfielder this season and could rival Newcastle in the summer.
In January, it was widely reported that Newcastle United made an approach for Tom Cairney, only to be allegedly quoted £20m for the Fulham playmaker.
The West London club determined to mount their own promotion challenge and not surprisingly, determined to hold onto their most influential player at least until the end of the season.
Fulham are looking the form team going into the final stages and nobody will fancy meeting them if they retain their current place in the play-offs.
If they are promoted then it could be a game-changer but if they remain a Championship outfit, then one of the second tier’s top performers will surely find it hard to knock back the chance of playing at the top level. A transfer fee of around £10m-£12m has been speculated by the media if he does move on.
Apart from a handful of games as a 19 year old for Hull City, the midfielder has played all of his football outside of the Premier League. So whilst there are no guarantees, Cairney still though has the look of a player who could prosper in the top tier.
He has 11 goals and 10 assists this season, to go with eight goals and six assists last campaign, meaning that for Fulham he has been involved in 35 of their league goals in only 79 Championship starts (plus 3 as a sub).
This suggests that there are still bargains to be had in the Championship, players who could potentially play at the higher level.
His Fulham form though does suggest that they have given him the perfect platform and playing style, as before joining the West London side he had only scored 10 league goals in the whole of his previous career.
Of course, if Fulham did go up themselves, then you can’t imagine them considering selling their best players.