Newcastle have made Man Utd defender Chris Smalling a top target during the summer transfer window, according to reports.
Smalling is back at Old Trafford after reaching the end of his loan deal with Roma.
The Englishman performed well in Italy, making 37 appearances in all competitions while in the capital.
Roma were interested in signing the 30-year-old on a permanent deal but they’ve failed to reach an agreement with United representatives.
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce will now try to sign Smalling, according to Sky Sports News. Bruce sees Smalling as a defensive partner for Jamaal Lascelles and will hand the player a Premier League return in the process.
Smalling will provide a mature presence in the Magpies’ backline and even the offer of international experience.
He’s featured 31 times for England and was selected for the 2014 World Cup, in addition to the 2016 European Championships.
Newcastle are currently having to improve their squad on the cheap after their Saudi takeover failed to materialise.
Bruce sees Smalling as a good option and will want to sign the defender for less than £15 million.
But United will know that his value has increased following his successful spell at Roma and may hold out for more than that.
Smalling looks set to force a move away from Old Trafford, as he’s previously admitted that he’s ‘gutted’ to be moving back to United.
The player doesn’t see any route back into the first team thanks to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s selection of defenders Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof.
Eric Bailly and fellow England international Phil Jones are also ahead of Smalling in the pecking order.
Smalling could be one of several British players to sign for Newcastle this summer.
Bruce is targeting Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson and Everton’s Tom Davies as he aims to create a core group of British players at the club.
You can see all of Newcastle’s confirmed transfers on our dedicated page.