Sheffield Wednesday have reportedly submitted an enquiry for Bristol Rovers target Elliot Anderson - but the Gas remain an ‘obvious option’ on their former loan star, according to Newcastle’s Chronice Live.
The Newcastle United youngster played a key role in helping Joey Barton’s side secure a dramatic promotion into League One last season.
The talented playmaker scored eight goals in 21 appearances after joining on loan in January, including a late strike in the 7-0 home win against Scunthorpe United as the Gas snatched the third and final promotion spot in the final minutes of the season.
Newcastle manager Eddie Howe has spoken of his desire to assess the youngster during the Magpies pre-season schedule - but there was also praise for the impact he made during the first loan spell of his career.
Speaking last month, the former Bournemouth manager said: “We’ll certainly bring him back for pre-season and have a closer look at him. He’ll be involved in the pre-season games.
“We’ll make a decision then on whether or not he needs another loan or stays with us.
“I’ve said many times, I didn’t necessarily want to pitch him to League Two, we felt he was better than that level but due to one reason or another, that’s the level he ended up at. He’s excelled.
“It’s very difficult as a young player to go out and really make a difference but he’s not just done that, he’s made an incredible difference to Bristol Rovers.
“It was a dramatic final day and full credit to Joey, his team and to Elliot. What an experience for him, one he’ll always remember I’m sure and something he’ll look back on fondly at the end of hopefully a very successful career.”
With a second loan move away from the North East still a possibility, Rovers’ League One rivals Sheffield Wednesday are believed to have made the first move to take Anderson on loan - but they face competition from a number of clubs.
Championship sides Coventry City, Luton Town, Middlesbrough, Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion have all been credited with an interest in the Scotland Under-21 international.
Bristol Rovers also remain an option for Anderson, who could return on loan for a second season, say the Chronicle Live. The Gas would hope a step up to League One may tempt the Magpies to entrust them with one of their brightest talents.
One other factor that could work in Rovers favour is the relationship between manager Joey Barton and Newcastle loan manager Shola Ameobi.
The duo were team-mates at St James Park between 2007 and 2011 and remain on positive terms.
Barton’s handling of Anderson during his time with the Gas and the undoubted development made by the 19-year-old during the second half of last season will also be considered, says the North East title.
It seems unlikely the situation will be resolved before the Premier League giants get a chance to assess Anderson in pre-season - but Rovers remain in the picture as they look to secure the return of a player that wrote his name into the club’s history with his efforts last season.