Newcastle have received a boost in their aims to sign Stoke City captain Ryan Shawcross after it has emerged that the 29-year-old has rejected an offer to extend his stay with the Potters.
Considering that Shawcross has one year left on his current deal, it is likely that a sale will take place during the summer unless he decides to extend as time progresses.
Since joining the club from Manchester United nine years ago, Shawcross has established himself as a key part of the Stoke team notching more than 370 first team appearances and there is no doubt that many fans will be hurt by his departure.
He may be weighing up a new challenge. Newcastle are believed to be leading the race to sign him while Leicester City as well as Brighton, who became the first Championship side to win promotion this season, are also interested.
Whoever completes the signing of Shawcross will surely be adding an experienced defender that can add quality to their squad.