Newcastle have turned down West Brom’s opening offer to sign Isaac Hayden this month, according to the Express & Star.

The Baggies have been pursuing a versatile central midfielder and Hayden is seen as their number one target.

Everton midfielder James McCarthy is also being considered by West Brom boss Darren Moore, but the Ireland international is not yet match fit following his recovery from a broken leg.

Hayden handed in a transfer request at Newcastle during last summer’s transfer window, looking to move to a club further South in order to be closer to his family, and is said to still be keen on a move.

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Rafael Benitez would let the 23-year-old move on, with the midfielder struggling for first-team action this season, but the Spaniard is keen to find a replacement beforehand.

West Brom are also looking to make the season-long loan deal involving Dwight Gayle permanent, a move which would see forward Salomon Rondon stay on Tyneside.

However, the Baggies are currently unwilling to meet Gayle’s wage demands, with Newcastle paying a percentage of the striker’s salary as part of the loan.

Gayle has scored 13 goals in his 21 Championship appearances this season, helping West Brom to fourth in the table, just three points off the automatic promotion places.