Date: 14th April 2017 at 1:15am
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Newcastle will launch an end of season bid for Ryan Shawcross.

According to a report in The Independent the Stoke skipper is wanted by Rafa Benitez to add some steel and leadership qualities to the centre of defence.

Despite being in the top two in The Championship almost all season the Newcastle boss is planning a major overhaul of his squad with at least six new players coming in.

The emphasis will be on time served players with Premier League experience which Shawcross matches perfectly with over 300 top team appearances for Stoke.

The midfielder is in his tenth season with Stoke but hasn’t been offered a new deal despite his current contract running out in 2018.

Benitez struggled to bring players in during the January transfer window and is determined to get to work early this summer to give his side the best possible chance of making an impact in the Premier League.