Newcastle United transfer news: Rafa Benitez 'pulls plug' on midfielder deal as rumoured target speaks out

Rafa Benitez has reportedly blocked a Newcastle midfielder move
Rafa Benitez has reportedly blocked a Newcastle midfielder move

Newcastle United continue to be the subject of plenty of transfer speculation as the January transfer window heats-up.

And reports today claim that the Magpies has blocked a January exit for Isaac Hayden after interest from the Championship.

The Express & Star claim that West Brom had launched a bid for the former Arsenal midfielder but, after his impressive showings in recent weeks, Benitez pulled the plug on the deal.

Hayden has previously asked to leave the club to be closer to his family, and reiterated his desire to move at the start of the month.

But the report suggests that Benitez, who is yet to act in the winter window, is keen to secure a replacement before sanctioning Hayden's exit.

West Brom are not thought to be the only second tier interested in Hayden, with several other clubs said to be monitoring his situation.

Meanwhile, rumoured Newcastle United target Kenny Lala has spoken out on his future.

The full-back, who currently plays for Ligue 1 side Strasbourg, was linked with the Magpies last week as Benitez eyes reinforcements at the back.

And Lala refused to rule out the possibility of a move when speaking to the French press - claiming he wouldn't want to 'close the door' on any potential transfer.

“I am not closed to anything and I have an agent who takes care of that," he said.

"I focus on what happens on the pitch, but I don’t want to close the door."