Rafa Benitez linked with surprise swap deal with Premier League rivals – surely not?

According to an ‘exclusive’ from The Sun, Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri is keen on swapping skipper Tom Cairney for Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey in the January window.

Cairney has been heavily linked with us in the past couple of transfer windows and it is thought Rafa is an admirer, but whether he will be happy to sacrifice Shelvey as part of any deal is unclear in the story.

I personally can’t see that happening. Shelvey may have missed several games this season due to injury and the recent rise to form for Ki, but he is still one of our most talented players and someone Rafa would be reluctant to sell.

As far as Cairney is concerned, the Scottish midfielder is no longer first choice at Fulham, and i would prefer to see him brought in without having to use Shelvey as part of the deal if anything – especially given he’s yet to prove himself at Premier League level.

Cairney can play in a more advanced role so could fit the bill in a no.10 role, but there’s no way we should be letting Shelvey go to make way for him. 

Fulham once slapped a £20m price tag on Cairney’s head , but I doubt they could demand as much now after his slow start to life in the top flight – not forgetting he’s actually approaching his latter years at 28.

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