Newcastle transfer target James Tavernier addresses Rangers exit speculation

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NEWCASTLE target James Tavernier has played down talk of him returning to St. James’ Park this summer.

Tavernier spent six years at Newcastle, making just two Premier League appearances on Tyneside.

The Rangers full-back has now enjoyed four years at Ibrox after a series of loan spells during his time in the north east.

Tavernier’s impressive form and leadership wearing the armband for Steven Gerrard’s side has sparked interest from Newcastle.

The 27-year-old is valued at around £8m and would provide welcome competition to DeAndre Yedlin and Javier Manquillo.

But Tavernier has admitted he is fully committed to Rangers this season, despite being flattered by the interest from his former side.

“It’s a compliment but all my emphasis is on Rangers,” he said.

“Things can happen but I’m looking forward to this season.

“I’m fully focused on the job here.

“It’s been four years now and the lack of silverware has been disappointing. I came to Rangers to win trophies.

“The squad has improved and I’m more than excited to play in this campaign and hopefully we can bring silverware home.

“A trophy win as captain would be the next step.

“I really wanted that as a player, even more now as a captain.”

Newcastle made their first signing of the summer on Tuesday, confirming a club-record move for Brazilian striker Joelinton.

The 22-year-old has penned a six-year deal with Steve Bruce’s side following his Hoffenheim exit.

Newcastle are expected to follow up Joelinton’s £40m arrival with more signings as the club look to right the wrongs of a turbulent summer.

Nice forward Allan Saint-Maximin has been heavily linked with a move to the club.

Meanwhile, Bruce wants Burnley star Dwight McNeil.

The Clarets are expected to hold out for £30m for the young attacker.

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