Newcastle United patrons in the Transfer Tavern have grown incredibly concerned by their side’s late-season wobble.
The Magpies were well on course to claim the Championship title a few months ago but now find themselves nervously looking over their shoulders at the playoff spots with just three games of the season remaining.
Nonetheless, most expect the Magpies to return to the top flight in time for 2017/18 and recent reports have revealed Rafa Benitez is already eyeing up one potential target for the club’s potential Premier League campaign in the form of Stoke City’s Ryan Shawcross.
The Independent reported on the planned transfer swoop last week, noting that Shawcross’s Stoke City contract is due to expire at the end of next season and that Benitez wants to add top flight experience to his squad ahead this summer.
But former Potters boss Lou Macari, who now works as a pundit on MUTV after making over 300 league appearances for Manchester United as a player, has insisted he can’t see the commanding centre-back – rated at £9.35million by Transfermarkt – moving to Newcastle anytime soon.
The 67-year-old told the Stoke Sentinel; “You can never be sure in this day and age, but I’d be amazed if Ryan Shawcross lined up at the start of next season in the black and white stripes of Newcastle and not the red and white stripes of Stoke City.
“No disrespect to Newcastle, but I can’t see the attraction of them right now if I’m Ryan Shawcross. Newly-promoted to the Premier League means they are in for a difficult time next season, while Newcastle is an awful long way north if you and your family are settled in this area.
“He’s on a sensational wage already at Stoke and I’m sure remains hugely valued by the club and the fans. Ryan has made a big name for himself over many years with Stoke City and that has to count for something.”
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