Newcastle United are in contention to sign Hull City midfielder Tom Huddlestone, with the England international available at just £2m. Huddlestone has one year remaining on his contract at the KCOM Stadium but after suffering relegation from the Premier League last season, he is on the market at a cut-price offer.
The Toon have made two additions this summer in the form of Christian Atsu on a permanent deal following his season-long loan from Chelsea and Florian Lejeune who has joined from Eibar. But it has otherwise been a frustrating summer for the north-east club with long-term target Tammy Abraham joining Swansea City.
Manager Rafael Benitez will attempt to turn Newcastle's fortunes around with the signing of Huddestone, who according to The Sun, is a prime target for the newly-promoted St James' Park side. Benitez hopes the 30-year-old's experience can provide the much-needed ballast and control his midfield badly need on their return to the top flight.
West Bromwich Albion are understood to be among the clubs also tracking Huddlestone as they attempt to cover the loss of Darren Fletcher who has joined Stoke City. New Hull boss Leonid Slutsky will attempt to convince Huddlestone to remain in the Championship, however, and with the midfielder still possessing a fine range of passing he is expected to be in high demand.
The acquisition of Huddlestone would help some way to right a summer transfer window which has not gone to plan for Newcastle - after Benitez had been promised the funds necessary to overhaul a squad which only clinched the Championship title on the final day of the season. Former Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood believes the club's struggles are down to their location, with foreign players preferring to play in the south of England.
"No disrespect to Newcastle but if they want to sign foreign players, they tend to move south," Sherwood told TalkSport, prior to the signing of former France Under-20 international Lejeune. "Mike won't want to fall out of the division. They [Newcastle] are in there now and Mike Ashley is an astute businessman who knows where to spend and how much.
"But he certainly needs to put his hand in his pocket and give Rafa a certain amount money. I would say they [Newcastle and Brighton and Hove Albion] have an equal chance [of avoiding the drop]. Both of them are new to the Premier League and certainly Brighton will catch teams on the hop."