According to Ladbrokes, Newcastle are 4/1 in the eight-horse race to sign Blackburn Rovers talisman Bradley Dack.
The English playmaker is being chased by a host of clubs in the top two tiers of English football after a strong start to the season at Ewood Park.
His and Blackburn’s form has been in stark contrast to Newcastle’s; pre-season off-field unrest has given way to a poor start on the pitch under Rafa Benitez.
But what could Dack bring to the north-east if he was persuaded to make the move? We’ve taken a closer look…
The first thing to note about Dack is that, for a midfielder, he gets plenty of goals. He already has eight in all competitions for a side that is not in the play-off race, just yet.
Newcastle currently lack goals, big time; none of the centre-forwards are prolific and the midfield support do not chip in often enough.
On top of that, Dack is the kind of player who gets fans excited. The Geordies would absolutely love him; he tries things, can beat a man and is a man supporters would pay to watch.
Obviously, the big trick would be translating his Championship form into the top flight; but new England call-up James Maddison has proved that can be done already this season.
Is the move likely?
There are two factors that could hold a move back. The first is money; the hot competition for Dack’s signature will only push the price up. Mike Ashley is not likely to pay £20m for a player who was only promoted to the Championship this year.
Secondly, Dack is something of a maverick. Benitez loves players who conform to his demands, tactically, in terms of defensive shape.
Dack is a hard worker but playing in a rigid shape won’t get the best out of him; his style and Rafa’s would appear to be at odds.
That’s a shame because he could genuinely excite the fans and offer goals from midfield that the club has been missing.