Report: West Ham set to make approach for Newcastle midfielder
West Ham are eager to bolster their midfield during this window, although Rafa Benitez will be eager to avoid selling to a direct rival.
What's the story?
West Ham are set to make a move for Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey this month.
As reported by Football London, the Hammers are favourites for his signature with manager David Moyes eager to bolster his midfield options going into the business months of the Premier League campaign.
In case you didn't know...
Just days after signing for Newcastle, Shelvey played an instrumental part in their 2-1 victory over West Ham - back in January 2016.
The 25-year-old has impressed on Tyneside since his arrival and his quality is evident on a regular basis. Moyes is said to have a number of transfer targets during the current transfer window, but Shelvey is believed to be his prime choice.
The heart of the matter
Newcastle will be eager to keep hold of Jonjo if possible, not just because of his ability either. Directly strengthening a Premier League rival is a counterproductive move for Rafa Benitez to make, not least with the two sides level on points with 22 in top-flight competition thus far this season.
Watford powerhouse Etienne Capoue, Stoke's Joe Allen and Anderlecht's versatile Leander Dendoncker are all thought to be on West Ham's shortlist as potential options to pursue if their approach for the Englishman falls through.
Newcastle will only consider selling if they had a bonafide midfield replacement of quality, so it'll be interesting to see how the situation develops.
Shelvey is well-known for his exquisite passing range in the middle of the pitch. He can instinctively read attacking runs from teammates before performing precise passes with seeming ease.
He's also an enigmatic figure at times. With a tendency to let his frustrations boil over into unnecessary conflict or needless tackles at times, he certainly makes his presence felt on the pitch but with experience, continues to mature.
Importantly, this news shows Moyes has faith in his ability and trusts he'd help contribute to West Ham in the final third - whilst refusing to shy away from defensive responsibility - if signed.
This interest is refreshingly unique and certainly feels like a move that Moyes himself would make, whereas the same cannot be said of predecessor Slaven Bilic, whose transfer dealings were "bound by the board" and he ultimately paid the price with his job.