A number of clubs have seen enquiries for Scottish star Jack Hendry rebuffed by Club Brugge, TEAMtalk can reveal.
The former Celtic man has been in brilliant form for Belgian champions, including in the Champions League where he helped keep Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar at bay in their first ever performance together.
Newcastle United and Burnley have both asked about the player, having considered a deal for him in the summer before Brugge snapped him up ahead of Oostende.
Defence is a key area Eddie Howe wants strengthening as he prepares for his first transfer window as Newcastle boss. Indeed, it will also be their first transfer window since the Saudi-backed takeover.
Burnley, meanwhile, are bracing themselves for the potential exit of James Tarkowski in 2022. His contract expires at the end of the season.
Dutch champions Ajax and Spanish side Sevilla are also taking a close look at Hendry. But Brugge are in no danger of losing him in January.
That is because Hendry played a handful of games for Oostende before he joined Brugge, which a number of his suitors were not aware of.
Despite no January move, that is not stopping the clubs watching Hendry ahead of a potential summer bid.
The centre-back is under contract with Brugge until 2025. He has made 20 appearances for them so far.
Newcastle in another defender battle
Hendry is not the only defender we can reveal Newcastle have been showing an interest in.
A host of Premier League clubs are back on the trail of Sampdoria star Omar Colley, TEAMtalk has been told.
The 29-year-old defender has long been linked with a move to England. Both Leeds United and Sheffield United held talks last season.
Colley, though, signed a new long-term deal until 2025 with Sampdoria in January. But despite that, it has not stopped the interest continuing.
Leeds are back on his trail, but we understand Everton and Newcastle are also looking closely.
Unlike Hendry, Colley would be able to move in January. He is due to feature in the African Cup of Nations in the winter. But that is not seen as a major issue for those interested.
It is believed Sampdoria – who are 15th in the Serie A table at the halfway stage – are willing to do business at the right price.