According to The Daily Mirror, Newcastle are one of a number of Premier League clubs interested in signing Burnley midfielder Jack Cork.
The 31-year-old’s contract expires at the end of this current season, and with the Clarets involved in rumours of a potential takeover, his long-term future at Turf Moor is up in the air.
The Daily Mirror claim that along with Newcastle, the likes of Brighton and Sheffield United are also keeping an eye on developments, with a view to potentially landing him on a free transfer.
Having missed Burnley’s clash against the Magpies earlier this season, the last time Cork took to the field against the Tyneside club was back in February, when the two sides played out a rather drab 0-0 draw at St James’ Park.
One man who stood out was the Clarets’ 6 foot 1 machine, who dominated the midfield battle against Jonjo Shelvey. Playing that screening role against Ashley Westwood, Cork was a constant menace in shutting down the Newcastle engine room, and he finished the game with eight duels won and having made seven defensive contributions.
He completely bullied Shelvey in the middle of the park, who was one of the Magpies’ poorest performers – according to Sofascore, his 6.6 match rating was only better than that of Joelinton. He lost possession 19 times and averaged a shocking 61% pass accuracy, thanks in part to the way in which Cork pressed him non-stop.
Newcastle already have an anchor man in Isaac Hayden, but Cork could be a real upgrade on the 25-year-old. Whilst both averaged similar numbers for the key defensive areas last season in the Premier League, the Burnley man outshone him in possession. He boasted more touches per match, had a far greater accuracy when it comes to forward passes into the opposition’s half, and had a significantly better dribble success rate.
Cork would give Newcastle a solid shield to their back-line, but also offer them a little more in way of moving the ball forwards and starting attacks.