Man City and Newcastle hoping to capture ex-Red Devil

Stoke City’s Ryan Shawcross is a reported target for Premier League champions Manchester City (7/4 to defend their title) and Newcastle United (50/1 top four finish next campaign) in a possible £12m move this summer.

The former Manchester United centre back was voted the Potters’ Player of the Season this term, and could be tempted in a transfer back to the city of his first professional club for Champions League football.

Shawcross appeared in just two games for the Red Devils – both in the League Cup – but has managed to build up his reputation in Stoke. He played in all but one league match this season.

City, who have recently been hit with UEFA Financial Fair Play sanctions for the coming campaign, are looking to offload a number of their English players, such as Jack Rodwell, Scott Sinclair and Micah Richards. Gareth Barry and Joleon Lescott, meanwhile, are out of contract this summer, and Shawcross could be the ideal replacement for the latter.

England cap Shawcross, who is still eligible for Wales, would be an extra plus should he sign for the Sky Blues, due to his ‘homegrown’ status. As City are set to offload the vast majority of their English contingent, they would need to meet their quota of four to eight players who have been in a football academy in this country for three or more years.

Shawcross, 26, has never won a major trophy in his professional career but, with City gaining two league titles, an FA Cup and League Cup in the last four seasons, it seems he would be guaranteed silverware at the Etihad.

However, Newcastle are another option. Although Stoke’s late season surge saw them finish in ninth, one place and a point above the Magpies, in the table, it would be an extremely tough ask for Mark Hughes’ side to improve on that.

Despite their poor end to the season, the Toon are seen as the bigger club with more resources, and would definitely be a step up for Shawcross. They may bulk at his price tag, but have yet to use the money gained form the sale of Yohan Cabaye in the January transfer window.