Newcastle United have submitted an improved offer to take Jesse Lingard on loan from Manchester United before the end of the January transfer window.
Eddie Howe is eager to bring in attacking reinforcements in the coming days, with the 29-year-old high on list of potential targets.
Lingard is out of contract in the summer, and it remains to be seen whether Man United will allow him to see out the remainder of his deal away from Old Trafford, but the prospect of sending him out on a short term agreement for a significant loan fee is still very much on the table.
It is understood that Man United are reluctant to loan the player out to one of their nearest rivals, but may acquiesce to him joining the relegation-threatened Magpies.
For his part, Lingard has been limited to just 273 minutes of first team football for his boyhood club this season.
Here’s everything you need to know about where the potential deal currently stands…
What’s the latest on Newcastle’s interest in Lingard?
At the moment, the general consensus seems to be that the Toon Army are eager to step up their interest in the Man United star and secure a deal in the coming days if possible.
An update from the Mirror has reiterated the Magpies’ keenness in the midfielder, but has also highlighted some of the difficulties that they could face in wrapping up an agreement with his current employers.
Lingard is out of contract at Old Trafford in the summer, and as such, it is understood that Man United are reluctant to send him out on loan – preferring the prospect of a permanent exit instead.
One proposed middle ground could be a hefty loan fee that would see Newcastle bring the England international in for the rest of the season without having to commit to handing him a long-term contract.
The online outlet suggest that Newcastle are optimistic about the chances of that bid being accepted, but there would still be some obstacles to overcome before a transfer could be rubber-stamped.
Any move would be dependant on Lingard’s approval, and would likely require the Toon Army to offer him a substantial financial package.
Who else is interested in Lingard?
Several clubs have been linked with the midfielder this month, including his former side West Ham – as per ESPN.
The most recent suitor to be mentioned, however, is French outfit OGC Nice.
According to an update from Foot Mercato, the Ligue 1 high-flyers are keeping tabs on the 29-year-old, and are willing to “overtake” Newcastle in the race to snap him up.
How likely are Newcastle to seal the deal?
Despite some of the aforementioned obstacles and the reported competition for Lingard’s signature, there still appears to be an optimism that a deal to take the player to Tyneside this month can be reached.
The Telegraph’s Luke Edwards told BBC Sport’s Transfer Gossip Daily podcast that the Man United talent “probably will end up at Newcastle on loan”.
Edwards also went as far as to suggest that Lingard is open to a move to the North East – albeit on loan – and cited Lingard’s “great” friendship with Toon defender Kieran Trippier as one potential lure.