Benitez vs Moyes as Newcastle battle Sunderland for international ace

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez is ready to battle a trio of Premier League outfits to land Manchester United defender Paddy McNair, according to Sky Sports journalist Kaveh Solkhehol.

The Northern Irish international is believed to have been told he can leave Old Trafford following the arrival of Jose Mourinho as the club’s new manager.

While never a regular starter, the 21-year old was often deployed amid the injury crisis Louis van Gaal had to contend with during his time with the Red Devils.

North East neighbours Sunderland and Middlesborough are understood to have cast keen eyes over the defender, though the Toon’s loss to Fulham last night could prompt them into action.

Premier League new boys Burnley, who recently agreed a deal for Jon Flanagan of Liverpool, are another said to be interested in the star.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers are also thought to be monitoring his situation at the Theatre of Dreams.