West Ham United are considering a summer move for Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, per ClaretandHugh.
The Magpies star has been routinely linked with the Hammers over the past few seasons but manager Manuel Pellegrini could finally formalise their interest when the transfer window reopens.
Shelvey has struggled for game time at St James’ Park this season, making just 14 appearances in all competitions due to a number of injury issues.
Indeed, he last played 90 minutes in the Premier League in October, in a 0-0 draw with Southampton.
ClaretandHugh claim that Pellegrini is keen to strengthen his midfield this summer, with Pedro Obiang almost certain to leave.
The Hammers have subsequently drawn up a shortlist of potential targets and the report states that Shelvey is on it.
The 27-year-old has spent three years at Newcastle, making 108 appearances. He has also won six caps for England.
Mark Noble is approaching the twilight of a storied career.
He is 31 and will be 33 when his contract expires in 2021.
A move for Shelvey, then, could form part of a succession plan for a player who first joined the Hammers in 2000.
He will surely mark 20 years at the club next season – there is precious little chance of the captain being sold on in the summer – but Pellegrini would be wise to bring in his successor before Noble actually departs.
That would allow Shelvey to sit under the learning tree, so to speak, and truly immerse himself at West Ham. He is a better player than Noble is currently; his range of passing, in particular, sets him apart from the Hammers captain, while he is also capable of the genuinely spectacular.
Nevertheless, Noble’s replacement will have a lot to live up to in the eyes of the fans and playing alongside him first is a logical way to ensure that the transition is seamless.