West Ham seemingly in pole position to sign Whites star Cairney

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez has ruled out a swap deal involving Tom Cairney, potentially paving the way for West Ham to sign the Fulham star.

Scotland international Cairney, who was previously linked with both clubs, has not been a regular starter since Claudio Ranieri took over as Whites boss.

The Sun reported on Friday that Ranieri is looking for a deep-lying midfielder and would be willing to part with Cairney in exchange for Newcastle’s Jonjo Shelvey.

The story also suggested that West Ham midfielder Pedro Obiang could be another option for a deal if Newcastle were not keen.

And Benitez made it clear at a press conference on Friday afternoon that they are not.

The Spaniard insisted that former Charlton man Shelvey is very much part of his plans and would not be leaving St James’ Park during the January transfer window.

“No. No chance. He’s an important player for us,” said Benitez, whose team are involved in a battle to stay in the Premier League.

“Ki [Sung-yueng] and him are the players who technically can pass the ball well and keep it, they give confidence to the rest of the team.

“I hope he will be as important as he was last year.”

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