Newcastle United agree framework of January loan deal for England under-21 international

Newcastle United are understood to have agreed the framework of a deal, in principle, to sign Manchester United and England under-21 international defender Brandon Williams.

Tuesday, 5th January 2021, 6:00 am
LEIPZIG, GERMANY - DECEMBER 08: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Yussuf Poulsen of RasenBallsport Leipzig and Brandon Williams of Manchester United look on during the UEFA Champions League Group H stage match between RB Leipzig and Manchester United at Red Bull Arena on December 8, 2020 in Leipzig, Germany. (Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

The 20-year-old Red Devils academy graduate has been told he is allowed to leave Old Trafford on loan this month – and the Gazette understands the Magpies have moved to put themselves at the top of the list to sign the left-back before January 31. Although they are one of a host of clubs interested in the in-demand player.

Steve Bruce has spoken of having one or two deals in the pipeline recently, when quizzed by friend, pundit and Newcastle United legendary No.9, Alan Shearer.

And Williams is thought to be one of those, with United’s first-choice left-back Jamal Lewis struggling to settle a little following a £15 million move from Championship Norwich City in the summer. Wideman Matt Ritchie has deputised for Lewis in the left wing-back slot recently.

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Williams, also liked by Ralph Hasenhüttl at Southampton, has struggled for first-team minutes under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season, having made a top flight breakthrough last. Luke Shaw and Alex Telles have been preferred in his role.

United are also interested in a deal for Jetro Willems, however, who is back fit and training with Eintracht Frankfurt.

The former Magpies loan man is understood to have knocked back any talk of a contract extension in Germany and looks set to depart the Bundesliga either this month, or when his deal comes to an end in the summer.

United are primarily targeting loan deals this month with funds unlikely to be made available by owner Mike Ashley, in light of the Sports Direct tycoon’s attempts to get a takeover completed.

It is not known whether any deal for Willems would supersede the broad agreement in place to take Williams, but United are unlikely to sign two left-backs in the January window, even though Williams is thought to be able to play right-back also.

Adding Willems would require United to open up some wiggle room in their Premier League 25-man squad, which is full to capacity at present. The likes of DeAndre Yedlin have been linked with a move away in January, with the USA international reportedly courting interest from Turkish side Trabzonspor as well as clubs in the Bundesliga and MLS.