Bristol City, Hearts and Hibernian enter 12-team race for Newcastle’s Bristol Rovers loan hero

Bristol City are now reportedly one of 12 clubs interested in the player that got Bristol Rovers out of League Two

Bristol City have reportedly entered the race to sign Newcastle United’s Elliot Anderson on loan.

A host of Championship clubs have been attributed with interest in the Magpies’ in-demand loan star but now a few other clubs both from England and Scotland have reportedly shown an interest.

Anderson has been on Newcastle’s pre-season tour, travelling to both Austria and Portugal as he hopes to push his way into Eddie Howe’s plans.

No decision has yet been made on where the 19-year-old’s future will be but as more clubs show an interest, Newcastle’s transfer bosses have a tough task in front of them to decide where would be best for him should a loan move take place.

But now a report from the Edinburgh Evening News claims that Scottish Premiership clubs Hearts and their city rivals Hibernian are both keen.

Hearts do like the player but would want a deal to take place imminently and are also looking at other targets in the position meanwhile Hibernian, managed by former Robins boss Lee Johnson, is looking for a player to spearhead his attack.

Interestingly, the report has included City as one of the Championship teams in for the player, along with West Bromwich Albion, Luton Town, Millwall and Huddersfield Town, whilst of course Bristol Rovers would be keen for a reunion, and Sheffield Wednesday are also interested.

Such a move take place then it would be sure to send shockwaves through the city given how Anderson is viewed by the blue half of the city.

In what was his first spell away from Tyneside, Anderson scored seven goals and six assists in 21 matches and scored the goal that got Rovers out of League Two.

Rovers have yet to replace Anderson after his departure with an attacking midfielder, one of the positions that Joey Barton would like to recruit in.

Meanwhile for City, they already have three attacking midfielders with wonder kid Alex Scott almost certain to be the focal point of the midfield.

Andi Weimann also played there for a majority of the 2021/22 campaign with great success, getting 22 goals and 10 assists, making him one of the most creative players in the league.

Summer signing Mark Sykes can also play in that role, though in the win against AFC Bournemouth, he started at wing-back in the absence of Kane Wilson, who missed out through a training ground injury.

City’s preference of a new midfielder would instead be on bringing in a more defensive minded player, to help provide cover for Joe Williams.

Anderson can play in central midfield however and a change in Nigel Pearson’s stance on loan moves could make the move a possibility.

Under his stewardship they have yet to make any loan signings with the emphasis being on developing the clubs own players but should Anderson or a player become available, it is something they may explore if it benefits the team.

Back at the end of June, Pearson said: "My stance on loans is, if you look at my history at different clubs, I’ve utilised it a lot.

"I don’t honestly think the culture within the club was strong enough to have too many loan players. Because to have them come in and be successful you need quite a clear identity already.

"I’m not ruling out loans at all, far from it. We’ve been in contact with a number of clubs in terms of availability to take players on loan. But, again, it’s not just about filling spaces, it’s about getting the right players. It’s something that we’ve explored, and we will continue to."

Last week, Anderson stated his desire to remain and fight for his place in the side but would not be against another loan move should the club deem that to be the best option.

His manager Eddie Howe said Anderson whilst training with the first-team has not looked out of place but hasn’t yet made a choice on whether to keep him for the Premier League season or give him some vital first-team minutes out on loan like they did in January.