An update has emerged on Newcastle United target Kyle Bartley.
According to the Birmingham Mail, West Brom are determined to keep hold of Newcastle target Kyle Bartley this summer as they attempt to build a squad capable of returning to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
The report claims that Newcastle, Burnley and Crystal Palace are all interested in the centre-back, who has one year left on his contract at The Hawthorns. Although, he is said to be happy with his situation at West Brom and is not desperate to depart.
Newcastle owner Mike Ashley must sanction a deal to sign Bartley this summer, irrespective of this latest update and West Brom’s hopes of keeping him.
The Magpies chief should look to make them an offer they can’t turn down or try to convince Bartley that a move to St. James’ Park is what is best for him ahead of next season as he could be a terrific addition to Steve Bruce’s squad.
He could represent an upgrade on what Bruce already has at his disposal, particularly in regards to Federico Fernandez. The 32-year-old started 24 of Newcastle’s games at centre-back last season and averaged an unimpressive WhoScored rating of 6.64. Bartley, meanwhile, averaged a score of 6.79 in 28 starts for the Baggies despite their relegation back down to the Championship.
This shows that he can perform to a higher standard in the Premier League than Fernandez whilst playing in a struggling side, or at least a side struggling more than Newcastle. He is also two years younger than the former Napoli man, which could give him more time to be a key player in Bruce’s squad.
Earlier this year, former Baggies boss Sam Allardyce labelled Bartley as a “leader” and said that his quality stands out at West Brom with his experience on the pitch.
“Now he is coming to the age I think where his experience and his quality is standing out.
“He is a good talker and a good leader and we all know there aren’t many of them about these days.
“That defensive unit has been – and will continue to be – the backbone of helping us get out of trouble if we are to do so.”
The £15k-per-week beast would be an upgrade on Fernandez and would also arrive with all the tools to be a leader on the pitch, something that Newcastle are in desperate need of.
Ashley must ensure that he can get a deal over the line for the former Arsenal enforcer.