Newly promoted Newcastle Untied and established Premier League side West Brom are leading the way in the race to sign Sporting midfielder William Carvalho, according to reports from Portuguese newspaper O Jogo (via Sport Witness).
The Portuguese club appear ready to part ways with the 30-cap international, a European champion alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo last summer, as they look to raise funds over the coming months, and it would seem the Premier League duo are front runners.
Whilst there remain no claims over bids or negotiations as of yet, the report claims that Sporting will first look for any potential suitors to meet the 25-year-old’s €45m release clause.
With money no longer an issue for many teams in the Premier League it would seem that a deal could be quite likely as both sides, especially the Toon Army, look to bolster their midfield ranks ahead of the new season.
West Brom, on paper, would seem the obvious choice given their standing in the last few years, however, Newcastle has more going for it this summer than it has for a number of years.
With Rafa Benitez having confirmed that he’s staying on as manager next season after talks with owner Mike Ashley, the Spaniard can use his worldwide draw as a top manager, having won the Champions League as many a Magpies fan will not hesitate to remind you, to target players who may not normally opt to join a promoted side.
Add to that the size and passion of the fan base, persistently reiterrated with capacity crowds at St. James’ Park and the obvious decision become far more attractive.