Newcastle United are to make moves to sign Fulham star Tom Cairney once their return to the Premier League is confirmed, according to The Mirror.

The Magpies face Preston North End this evening knowing that a win will guarantee them a second-placed finish at minimum and with it automatic promotion.

Manager Rafael Benitez wants to be assured of which division his team will be playing in next term before going in for Cairney, whom he sent scouts to monitor on Saturday as the Cottagers dismantled fellow play-off chasers Huddersfield Town.

The Scot starred in the 4-1 drubbing, taking his league goal tally to 11 with an ultimately decisive 20th minute penalty.

The result gives Fulham a degree of comfort in sixth position, with three points now between them and out-of-form Leeds United in seventh.

Realistically, the south-west London outfit require just one win from their final two matches to make the play-offs, as they have a superior goal difference to Garry Monk’s side.

It is thought that Fulham will struggle to keep hold of their talismanic vice-captain if they are not playing Premier League football next season.

Bournemouth and Burnley are also in the frame for his signature but Cairney is a priority target for Newcastle, who will look to move swiftly to get a deal done.

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