According to the Mirror (print edition, page 72, Nov-29), Derby County are lining up a loan move for Newcastle United midfielder Matty Longstaff in January.
The Newcastle ace has barely featured this season, making just one substitute appearance in the Premier League after bursting onto the scene last term.
Longstaff’s future at Newcastle was heavily speculated during the summer.
With an expiring contract, Sky Sports claim he was offered a £30,000 per week deal to join Udinese with the 20-year-old previously earning just £850 on an academy deal.
Longstaff, however, penned a new deal to remain with his boyhood club.
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But after struggling to break into Steve Bruce’s side this season, a loan move away in January could be best for both parties and Derby are reportedly keen on him.
The Rams have struggled this season as they sit bottom of the Championship table.
With just one win in 14 games, Dutchman Phillip Cocu was dismissed and now Wayne Rooney has taken sole interim charge with Steve McClaren acting in an advisory football role.
McClaren may know of Longstaff’s ability during his short tenure with Newcastle.
Any deal for the Magpies ace, however, would be a kick in the teeth to Derby’s own young stars with Max Bird, Jason Knight and Louie Sibley all vying for places.
The trio are among Derby’s brightest sparks in an otherwise bleak season and it may be counter-productive to their development to replace them with a top-flight loanee.
Longstaff is primarily a central midfielder. The 20-year-old couldn’t have wished for a better debut last term, scoring the winner in a 1-0 home win over Manchester United.