Newcastle United have been inundated with interest in midfielder Elliot Anderson, who is set to be allowed to leave on loan again next season.
The 19-year-old attacking midfielder has been outstanding over the past few months for Bristol Rovers, where he is managed by former Toon star Joey Barton.
Barton and Bristol Rovers would like to keep Anderson if he helps them to promotion to League One. They are currently in the League Two play-off places, sitting in fifth position with three games to go.
Anderson has been an important player in their pursuit of those targets. Since his loan began in January, he has played 18 times in the fourth tier. From those appearances, he has contributed six goals and three assists.
Therefore, keeping him would be beneficial for Bristol Rovers if they can make it up to League One.
But it is understood that Newcastle United want Elliot Anderson to be playing Championship football next season once he spends pre-season with Eddie Howe’s first team.
Therefore, he could be beyond their reach, with a range of suitors waiting to give him second-tier football.
Local rivals Middlesbrough are one of those keeping tabs Anderson. West Bromwich Albion, Coventry City, Reading and Stoke City are also keen.
Elliot Anderson ready for step up to Championship
Of the quintet, Boro look like they will finish highest in the Championship this season. They still have a chance of getting into the play-offs with four games remaining.
Coventry, West Brom and Stoke aren’t too far behind them in mid-table, but each only has three matches to play before the season concludes.
As for Reading, they are not mathematically safe from relegation to League One yet. However, it seems only a matter of time before they cross the line. Therefore, Championship football is likely to be on offer still at any of those clubs.
Anderson made his senior Newcastle debut in January 2021. He is currently in his first spell away from the club whose academy he has risen through. He will be hoping to make the most of his next step, just as he is doing with Bristol Rovers.
Now an England under-19 international despite also representing Scotland at previous age groups, Anderson is under contract with Newcastle until 2024.