It is over three years since Jay Rodriguez’s World Cup dream was crushed by a cruelly-timed cruciate ligament injury. The former Burnley striker had only recently forced his way into Roy Hodgson’s reckoning and, after a fine season at Southampton, had a great chance of earning a place on the plane for Brazil.
However, it is fair to say Rodriguez has never quite recaptured the same form since. As such, The Sun claims that the Saints may be willing to cash in this summer, provided they receive a bid in excess of £15 million.
Needless to say, that is quite a fee for a player who only scored six times last season and has been limited to just 12 Premier League starts since the beginning of 2014/15.
Nonetheless, Newcastle United have the perfect chance to get off the mark in the transfer window. The Daily Mail claimed in April that the Magpies were eyeing up Rodriguez ahead of their return to the top flight.
Manager Rafael Benitez appears to be targeting a striker with Premier League experience with both Aleksandar Mitrovic and Daryl Murphy expected to depart this summer.
And owner Mike Ashley has made clear that Benitez will have plenty of money to spend in the summer after The Spaniard was left frustrated with the club’s lack of activity in the January window.
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez
However, whether that means they will pay a fee just £2 million shy of their transfer record remains to be seen. Coupled with concerns over his fitness, Rodriguez also has just a year remaining on his contract at Southampton.
Therefore, the £15 million asking price appears ambitious in the extreme. And it may just encourage Newcastle to think twice.