Newcastle United have set an asking price of £15 million for midfielder Isaac Hayden, according to reports in London.
The Evening Standard claim that West Ham are looking at Hayden as an alternative to their priority target, Barcelona’s Andre Gomes, who has expressed a preference to stay at Everton, where he has been on loan for the past season.
Hayden, as is well-documented, reluctantly wants to leave the North East for family reasons, and a move to the Hammers would be an ideal scenario for the former Arsenal midfielder.
Such has been his professionalism, Hayden produced his best form for the Magpies when he was given his chance after Christmas.
It has seen the player lauded by fans, who have been sympathetic to his situation, and will wish him well when he departs.
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The Chronicle suggest that Newcastle could well try to hold out for a bid nearer £20m for the player, while Benitez – should he stay – has not given up hope of convincing him to stay on at St James’ Park.
They also add that all transfer dealings – both incoming and outgoing – are on hold until the managerial position becomes clear.
£15m would be a bargain in the current transfer market
At £15m, Hayden would represent a bargain in current football valuations. If he performs elsewhere, as he has for Newcastle in 2019, his new club will be getting a player capable of breaking into future England squads – such has been his impact.
With the figures being thrown around for other, similar players to him, then there should be no shortage of takers for his services at the alleged price-tag set.
If that is the case, Newcastle will be hoping interest from multiple clubs will lead to a bidding war for the player, pushing his price up.
No fan will begrudge the player a move nearer his family, and as long as all money received from the sale is offered to the manager to help towards a replacement, then the result would be seen as a win for all parties concerned.