DONCASTER Rovers lead a clutch of Championship clubs who are interested in taking Newcastle United youngster Mehdi Abeid on loan.
With the return of Cheick Tioté and Yohan Cabaye to the mix for this weekend’s key clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Abeid has been granted permission to follow in the footsteps of Haris Vuckic and move away from the Magpies to bolster his progress by getting more first-team games under his belt.
United have circulated his name to second and third tier clubs and have received plenty of interest – with struggling Doncaster keen to add the Algeria Under-23 international to their squad.
Leeds United are also understood to be interested, having lost loanee Fabian Delph to a serious injury for the rest of the season.
But Rovers, who have made use of the loan market since the appointment of Dean Saunders last year, appear to be in pole position. They already have a strong French-speaking presence in their dressing room, with ex-Sunderland midfielder El-Hadji Diouf and former Newcastle defender Habib Beye on board.
United’s willingness to loan Abeid is not a sign that his progress has slowed since making his first-team debut back in October.
Indeed, Newcastle have been hugely impressed with the steps he has made since signing in the summer – but now want him to get games under his belt to give him more experience of the rough and tumble of English football.
So far he has made two appearances for United – starting in the League Cup clash with Nottingham Forest and the FA Cup defeat of Blackburn Rovers. The 19-year-old was an impressively mature presence in both games, but the Newcastle chief clearly believes he needs more first-team football under his belt.
United boss Pardew has admitted: “We are trying to get Abeid out. He needs to play regular football for us.”