Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce has told the Northern Echo how Matty Longstaff is in his thoughts amid reported interest from Derby County and Nottingham Forest.
The 20-year-old has played just 29 minutes of Premier League football this season.
Longstaff burst onto the scene last season, making a fairy-tale top-flight debut at St James’s Park as he netted the winner in a 1-0 victory over Manchester United.
But since then, Longstaff has failed to kick on. Injuries has restricted his playing time, while Newcastle’s strength in midfield has also blocked his progress.
According to the Chronicle, both Derby and Forest are eyeing him on loan.
When asked about the transfer speculation, Bruce was candid in his response.
“Matty falls into the same sort of category as Dummy’s (Paul Dummett) gone into, and Ryan Fraser. He’s been out a long time, and he’s trained now for the last two or three weeks. He’s in and around the squad, and I could have done with him having two, three, four games, like a pre-season. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to have that, but he is in my thoughts, especially when we’ve got a few missing. He’ll have to wait his chance like everybody else.”
Forest have struggled in midfield so far this season with the experienced Ben Watson no longer around and Samba Sow failing to replicate his form from last season.
The Reds may see Longstaff as an ideal option at the City Ground in January as manager Chris Hughton looks to guide his side away from the threat of relegation.
Derby, meanwhile, are also in relegation trouble as they sit 22nd in the table.
The Rams, however, have improved under interim manager Wayne Rooney following a six-game unbeaten run which has wielded four straight clean sheets.
The midfielder has arguably been Derby’s strongest area of late. Krystian Bielik, Graeme Shinnie and Jason Knight offer an abundancy of drive and energy.
Moreover, Derby have Max Bird, Duane Holmes and the attack-minded Louie Sibley who can also feature in a midfield three – suggesting Longstaff may not be a top priority.
Derby instead will surely look at their striker and winger options in January.