Newcastle turn down West Brom approach for Isaac Hayden
Newcastle United have turned down an approach from Albion to sign want-away midfielder Isaac Hayden.
Hayden is keen to leave the Magpies this month for family reasons, and the Baggies are on the hunt for a young dynamic central midfielder.
But Hayden has played the last three games for Rafa Benitez’s side and Newcastle are currently blocking the 23-year-old’s exit from the club.
Benitez wants to sign a replacement before letting Hayden leave, and Albion’s advances have been rebuffed so far.
Hayden handed in a transfer request in the summer in an effort to force a move further south to be nearer his daughter and her mother, who live in South Wales.
The England under-21 international has struggled for minutes this season, but has recently been reinstated into the Newcastle team and has impressed on his return.
"I’ve just tried to be as professional as I can be,” Hayden told the Newcastle Chronicle. “Since the summer, I’ve tried to do my job as well as I can.
"The manager has been happy with that, and the January window is open now so we’ll see what happens this month.
“Nothing has changed [from my perspective]. The club have known the situation from day one, and it’s not going to change.
"It’s not a football decision for me, it’s purely for family reasons and my daughter will always come first for me, above any football. What’s best for her is my priority."
Benitez doesn’t want Hayden to go without signing a replacement first, but his priorities lie elsewhere in this window.
Although the Newcastle boss understands Hayden’s desire to leave, he has urged him to remain professional.
Benitez said: “I know what he thinks because I was talking with him during the summer and now, but we will try do what we have to do; the best for the team and the best for everyone
“He’s training well, he’s working hard, and he’s a good professional. He’s fine and playing well.”
Newcastle and Albion currently have a season-long loan swap in place for strikers Salomon Rondon and Dwight Gayle.
The Magpies are reportedly contemplating making that swap permanent this month, but Albion want a cash sweetener, because Newcastle are currently paying a portion of Gayle’s wages and a permanent deal would force them to pick up the whole bill.
Albion’s interest in Hayden is currently separate to that deal. Several other clubs are also aware of his desire to leave.
The Baggies are also interested in Everton midfielder James McCarthy but are concerned about his match fitness after a lengthy lay-off from a broken leg.