Newcastle United clear favourites to land Southampton ace Rodriguez

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With a reported summer budget of anything between £70m-100m, Rafael Benitez is in for a busy few months as Newcastle United boss.

And one target for the Spaniard is Southampton’s Jay Rodriguez.

The striker has made 33 first-team appearances for Saints this term, but is not Claude Puel’s first-choice striker.

Rodriguez spent the early part of the campaign playing second fiddle to Charlie Austin.

But when the former Queens Park Rangers striker was ruled out for the campaign last December, Rodriguez got his chance.

The 27-year-old made five of his nine Premier League starts in the weeks’ following Austin’s absence, but then Manolo Gabbiadini arrived in January.

Rodriguez has since had to resume his role on the bench, making just two starts in the last 12 league games.

Even more damning though, is that in the other 10 of those fixtures, the Englishman has totalled just 36 minutes of playing time.

And with Austin set to return in time for next season, Rodriguez’s first-team chances on the South Coast look slimmer than ever.

So, it’s little wonder Newcastle lead the betting at 15/8.

The Magpies need to bring in proven Premier League quality, and they’ll be hoping to rediscover the striker who fired in 15 top-flight goals in just 33 games back in 2013-14.

But should Rodriguez decide against heading back up north, a switch to Saints’ south coast rivals Bournemouth is a 4/1 shot.

A move to Stoke is 6/1, ahead of a Burnley return at 7/1.

Ladbrokes Latest Betting

Jay Rodriguez next club

Newcastle United – 15/8

Bournemouth – 4/1

Stoke – 6/1

Burnley – 7/1

West Brom – 8/1

West Ham – 10/1

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

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Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.