West Ham are thought to be interested in signing Newcastle midfielder Isaac Hayden this summer, with the player wanting a move south to be closer to his family.

But the Hammers are looking at alternatives to the 24-year-old, with Newcastle hoping to convince the player to stay, if Rafa Benitez agrees to commit his future to the club.

According to the Daily Star, the Hammers are looking at Greek international Kostas Fortounis, but Hayden is said to be their preferred choice.

VADUZ, LIECHTENSTEIN – MARCH 23: Kostas Fortounis of Greece looks on during the 2020 UEFA European Championships group J qualifying match between Liechtenstein and Greece at Rheinpark Stadion on March 23, 2019 in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

Fortounis plays in the Greek Super League for Olympiakos, but with limited funds available to them, West Ham are only willing to offer £15 million for the player.

If reports are to believed, Hayden is valued at the same price, and with Premier League experience to his name, he would surely be a better signing for the London side.

Transfer deals are on hold until outcome of Rafa talks

(Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images)

But, as with any transfer involving Newcastle this summer, nothing can be finalised until the managerial position at St James’ Park is clarified.

Should, as hoped, Benitez stay on Tyneside, he is likely to use all his powers of persuasion to get Hayden to stay at the club for at least another season.

The former Arsenal midfielder became a mainstay of the side after Christmas, and he was in the form of his life during the second half of the season.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United)

It will be a big blow to Newcastle, should he leave. But fans have been sympathetic to his personal situation, and would begrudgingly be happy for the player if he gets his desired move.

A transfer to West Ham would be ideal for Hayden, with him hoping to catch the eye of Gareth Southgate, if he can continue next season where the way he finished the last.

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