Newcastle lead Brighton in race to snap up Stoke City dynamo

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Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion may both be heading for promotion to the Premier League, but there’s another battle emerging which only one of them can win. And it comes in the form of Ryan Shawcross’ signature.

Right now though, it’s Magpies fans who have reason to be optimistic. The 29-year-old is just 5/4 to make St James’ Park his new home, with boss Rafael Benitez keen to bolster his defensive options.

The centre-back joined the Potters back in 2007, winning promotion to the Premier League in his first season. And having clocked up an impressive 376 appearances for the Staffordshire outfit – as well as an England cap – in that time, it’s fair to say he’s something of a fans’ favourite.

However, the experienced centre-back now looks set to part ways with Stoke after almost a decade, and there appear to be no shortage of suitors.

Brighton are second in the betting at 3/1, while there’s 5/1 on offer for the Chester native to reunite with former Potters boss Tony Pulis at West Bromwich Albion.

Meanwhile, Leicester City are 8/1 to add Shawcross to their ranks, with Watford (10/1) and Hull City (12/1) rounding out the betting.

A Ladbrokes spokesperson said: “Rafa looks ready to add some steel to the Magpies squad this summer, and snapping up Stoke’s defensive dynamo would be a Shaw-fire way to do just that.”

Next up for Newcastle is a Friday night clash with Leeds United on Tyneside.

The Magpies are 13/20 for victory, while it’s 6/1 for the hosts to enjoy a third successive 2-0 win against the Whites.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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