By 90Min
December 28, 2018

Fulham are reported to have earmarked Jonjo Shelvey as a potential January signing and want to swap out of favour Tom Cairney for the 26-year-old. 

Since taking over last month, new manager Claudio Ranieri is thought to have identified central midfield as an area that needs strengthening, having told club officials that he wants to sign a deep-lying playmaker in the January window. 

Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Newcastle midfielder Shelvey is the club's number one choice to fill that role, according to the Sun, and Fulham are prepared to take advantage of the Tyneside club's prior interest in Scotland midfielder Cairney to secure his signing. 

The Magpies allegedly had bids rejected for Cairney in the summer, but a lot can change in six months and despite featuring at some stage in every Premier League match under Ranieri, he has predominantly been used on the right of midfield in recent weeks and was dropped to the bench for the recent 0-0 draw with Wolves. 

This all adds to the speculation that he is seen as somewhat expendable under the new regime, having previously been a central part of Slavisa Jokanovic's side, and lends weight to the suggestion that he could be used as a pawn in a move for Shelvey.

Should Newcastle decide against the upheaval to their midfield, however, another reported target for Ranieri's side is West Ham midfielder Pedro Obiang, as the boss targets Premier League experience in any potential signing. 

Obiang's start against Southampton on Thursday was his first since the 4-0 defeat to Manchester City in November and came only amid the worsening injury crisis facing Manuel Pellegrini's side.

Ben Early/GettyImages

The Irons are also rumoured to have bid for Cairney previously, so it could be a similar story with that deal should Fulham decide Obiang is their man. 

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