According to reports from Mirror Football, Newcastle are one of three clubs circling Burnley midfielder Jack Cork - alongside Brighton and Sheffield United.
The 31-year-old’s contract is due to expire at the end of the season and with Burnley in the middle of a takeover, his situation is yet to be properly addressed by the Turf Moor club.
Cork has always been something of an unassuming midfielder, at his most influential when protecting the back four by mopping up loose balls in the engine room, but he’s well-established in the Premier League.
Before joining re-joining Burnley in 2017 following a 2009/10 loan spell, he represented Southampton and Swansea in the top flight and has amassed 264 Premier League outings in total.
So Cork is certainly a steady pair of hands, but would he be the right signing for Newcastle?
GIVEMESPORT writers Jack Saville, Jonathan Gorrie and Christy Malyan look to answer a simple question: should the Magpies swoop for the Burnley enforcer?
“This mooted deal reeks of Mike Ashley. Newcastle's controversial owner recently made subtle progress in the impossible job of repairing his relationship with the Toon faithful by bringing in Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser during the summer, while a move for Burnley's Jeff Hendrick was generally perceived as a shrewd piece of business all things considered.
“However, pairing Hendrick up with another member of Burnley's alumni seems incredibly counter-intuitive. What are the club's ambitions? Where does Cork take them? The 31-year-old is a decent player at this level, but with Hendrick, Isaac Hayden and the Longstaff brothers all capable of performing a similar role, the Magpies should be aiming much higher.”
“Newcastle do lack control in midfield, there's no doubt about. Not a single central midfielder has averaged a pass completion rate over 82.5% this season and even Jonjo Shelvey's 1.2 key passes per game is amongst the lowest in his recorded career. Frankly, the lack of dominant presence to dictate play is a real problem.
“Cork, while a solid enough player, is barely the most exciting option. Although he was a hugely popular figure at Southampton and is proven in the Premier League, Newcastle are craving a bit of personality. Given we're less than a year on from a failed club-record move for Boubakary Soumare who was targeted to bring exactly that, going for Cork would be a major step down.
“Obviously, it's hard to measure 'personality' in statistical metrics but when looking at the impacts players such as Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson have had in making positions their own with an assured swagger, it's clearly hugely important.
"With Jamaal Lascelles already in that category, being a bit more ambitious and rejuvenating an area of the squad only strengthened by the signings of Jeff Hendrick and Nabil Bentaleb of late could really help give Newcastle an impressive spine.”
“It may not be the most ambitious of signings but ultimately Cork would help sustain Newcastle’s approach in the transfer market from the summer in targeting Premier League-proven players available at a comparatively modest price rather than bringing in foreign imports and hoping they adapt quickly to English football.
“Having never really gotten all the fuss personally when it comes to the Longstaff brothers, in my opinion Newcastle could do a lot worse than adding Cork to their engine room as a counterweight for Shelvey - a far more creative presence. The two worked together briefly at Swansea and with such naturally contrasting styles, they should strike a good balance between them.
“Is Cork going to take Newcastle to the next level? Probably not. But he’s a solid Premier League player and when those are available at a knockdown rate - or possibly even on a free if the Magpies wait until the summer - any team outside the division’s top eight should automatically place a potential swoop under consideration. A cost-effective, low-risk signing.”News Now - Sport News