Newcastle United aren’t short of midfielders with Bruno Guimaraes, Joe Willock, Sean Longstaff, Jonjo Shelvey, but Isaac Hayden will need replacing after joining Norwich City on loan while Jeff Hendrick and Matty Longstaff could be moved on this summer, so there’s a void to fill.

Eddie Howe wants a defensive-midfielder to protect the back four and was linked with Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips and Brighton & Hove Albion’s Yves Bissouma, but Noel Whelan says West Ham United’s Tomas Soucek would be a ‘fantastic signing’.

The 27-year-old has an uncertain future in London after falling out with manager David Moyes. He’s resisted signing a new deal too, so the Hammers could look to move him on for the right price this summer.

United paid £14.6m to sign Soucek from Slavia Prague in 2020 but would want £30m for his sale now. Newcastle can certainly afford him and need a player in his position, so Whelan says they should go for it. He told Football Insider: “Newcastle are looking at players in this certain bracket.

“These are players who can’t agree to contracts or want to take the next step up to be in and around those European spots. I think Soucek would be a fantastic signing for Newcastle. But I’m sure West Ham won’t want to see him go. He’s been so influential for them, in and out of possession.

“West Ham have got European football again – so they’re going to need to get this new deal sorted. If not, then you’re going to have clubs like Newcastle waiting in the wings. And you know for sure that they have the money to give him what he wants.”

Soucek has made 102 appearances in all competitions for West Ham, scoring 18 goals with two assists. The Czech Republic made 49 appearances across the board this season, having a hand in seven goals, but he may have played his final game for the Londoners if reports are to be believed.

In other news, Paddy Kenny says Newcastle ‘should move on’ from Hugo Ekitike