Watford are currently taking an interest in Newcastle United midfielder Isaac Hayden, according to The Sun, with Steve Bruce eyeing a move for Will Hughes in what could develop into a swap deal.
Fulham are also said to be interested in a move for Hughes this summer, with Tom Cairney, Andre Zambo Anguissa and Jean Michael Seri’s futures all looking uncertain at Craven Cottage. But as per the national outlet, the Tyneside club are hoping to secure Hughes for a £12m fee, something that could potentially be out of Fulham’s price range.
Although the Cottagers are likely to be one of the best-equipped sides in the second-tier to make this move happen, their relegation to the Championship could put an end to any chance of paying an eight-figure fee for a player to come in, with Marco Silva also seeking to strengthen other positions as he shapes his new squad.
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Premier League football is not the only factor that’s currently giving Steve Bruce an edge in this race though, even with the 60-year-old working within a tight budget this summer.
They also have Hayden as a potential bargaining chip to utilise if they are willing to let him go – and a potential swap deal that may be more financially beneficial for the Magpies could be on the cards as Xisco Munoz looks to bring in his own top-quality players after promotion to the top flight. Hayden could be one option to pursue.
Matty Longstaff’s potential loan move could speed up negotiations on this potential Hughes-Hayden swap deal, with Steve Bruce keen to see the young midfielder get regular playing time.
If Newcastle didn’t have Hayden at their disposal, this would be a race Fulham could potentially win even after being relegated.
Although it wouldn’t have made much sense for Hughes to come back down to the Championship after working hard to escape it last season, the midfielder needs long-term certainty with just one year left on his current deal and the Cottagers could potentially provide this if they sign him permanently.
It’s currently unclear as to whether Bruce would be happy to let Hayden go, but that could depend on how much they want Hughes. But if Hayden definitely remains at St James’ Park, Silva’s side could be back in the running for the 26-year-old.