Newcastle United are plotting a January loan swoop for Aaron Lennon as the Everton winger sees competition hot up for a first-team berth.
ESPN has claimed that sources close to the north east side want to bring the veteran wide man to St.James' Park, if first team opportunities on Merseyside prove to be less fruitful in the next few months.
Lennon, who is a popular member of the Blues' set up, has seen competition for a place in Sam Allardyce's squad increase this month with the arrival of Cenk Tosun and Theo Walcott from Besiktas and Arsenal respectively.
It is the latter of those signings that could have the biggest impact on Lennon's chances of regular football, with Walcott primarily utilised as a right winger during his professional career.
With Yannick Bolasie also returning to full fitness after a year long lay off with a cruciate knee ligament injury and Gylfi Sigurdsson's improving form, Lennon may find it hard to come by regular minutes at Goodison Park in the second half of the season.
It is this dilemma that has led Newcastle to possibly look at bringing him in as part of Rafael Benitez's senior squad as the Spaniard eyes his own reinforcements.
When Aaron Lennon spots Theo Walcott in Everton training pic.twitter.com/G65WftLhGm— Football Funnys (@FootballFunnys) January 18, 2018
(You may also be interested in - Amanda Staveley Insists Newcastle Bid 'Still on Table' Despite 'Hurtful' Mike Ashley Comments)
Benitez wants to keep the Magpies in the Premier League but has been hamstrung by his attempts to attract new players to the club due to the financial constraints imposed by Mike Ashley.
Benitez has implored Newcastle's owner to stump up funds to allow him to strengthen his squad, but he may end up having to make do with loan signings if Ashley doesn't release money for permanent deals.
Sam Allardyce this morning on Aaron Lennon. "We need to trim the squad. 33 players in the first team squad is too many. I'm not sure about Aaron Lennon to Newcastle. We'll wait and see on that."— Mark Douglas (@MsiDouglas) January 19, 2018
Lennon would be a good coup, albeit temporarily, for Newcastle due to his pace and work rate, but he would face a fight to wrestle the right wing berth away from first-choice option Matt Ritchie if he rocked up on Tyneside.
Newcastle could face competition from Burnley for Lennon's signature after the Clarets signalled their intent to try and sign the 30-year-old.
However, it is up for debate just where Lennon will ply his trade once the January transfer window closes in 12 days' time.