Newcastle United’s chase of Leicester City’s Hamza Choudhury is again set to go to the wire - for the second transfer window in succession.
The Magpies and head coach Steve Bruce are long-time admirers of the central midfielder. Bruce saw the plug pulled on a January move for the player by Foxes’ boss Brendan Rodgers, following a turn of year midfield crisis at the King Power Stadium.
And NewcastleWorld understands United are again keen to sign the 23-year-old before next week’s transfer deadline.
However, with budgets tight on Tyneside and Leicester keen to sell Choudhury this summer, a deal hangs in the balance. United would favour a loan move, likely with an obligation to buy, in order to get a deal done for the former England under-21 international.
While there are no guarantees the Magpies will be active in the final few days of the transfer window - it closes at 11pm on Tuesday - Bruce is thought to retain hope of further strengthening his first-team group, with domestic loans the most likely route.
United have spent around £25million on one player this summer - Joe Willock - and that’s left little to play with in terms of budget with Bruce admitting to BBC Radio Newcastle after the Burnley Carabao Cup defeat: “I’ve said it many times now: we’re looking at the loan market because we haven’t got any money to spend.”
That, of course, may change if United sell a player, although Bruce recently admitted that was proving easier said than done. United are thought to have been open to offers for the likes of Sean Longstaff, Ciaran Clark, Jeff Hendrick, Isaac Hayden and Dwight Gayle this summer.
When asked about Choudhury last week, Bruce would not be drawn on the club’s interest.
Speaking to Sky Sports News’ Keith Downie, he said: “It would be unfair of me to mention other club’s players.
“There is a lot out there at the moment and in the last week of the window, I still believe there is still a little bit of work to do.
“As we’ve seen throughout the summer, it’s been difficult for a lot of clubs – I’ve never known it so quiet.
“It’s difficult for a lot of clubs too with finances.”
United have 26 players currently eligible for their 25-man Premier League squad, with the club seemingly unwilling, as per previous years, to run with more bodies than they need.
The likes of Henri Saivet, Achraf Lazaar and Christian Atsu were left outside the main Premier League group last season, with others such as Jack Colback suffering the same fate in previous campaigns.