Newcastle United are hoping to beat the rush and secure a loan deal for young Chelsea defender Ethan Ampadu this summer.
Steve Bruce is looking for reinforcements to his rearguard in what is expected to be another tough campaign for the Magpies. The north-east outfit managed to rally to 12th last term with a strong end to the season. But they have made just one addition to the squad, securing last season’s loan star Joe Willock on a permanent deal.
Loans are the best that Bruce can hope for at this stage of the transfer window. Mike Ashley is reluctant to spend big on new stars and so a move for Ampadu fits the bill, according to The Northern Echo.
The Wales international has been on the Chelsea books since 2017. However, his passage to the senior side has not been easy, with only 12 appearances in all competitions.
The 20-year-old has spent time on loan with German club RB Leipzig while last season he was with Sheffield United. Despite the Blades suffering relegation, Ampadu gained vital experience, with 25 Premier League appearances.
He impressed in a struggling side but is still down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge. The Exeter-born ace is expected to leave west London by the end of August and other clubs are interested.
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Ampadu was part of the Wales squad that reached the Euro 2020 last-16 this summer. However, he blotted his copybook with a straight red card in defeat to Italy.
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He was not included in Thomas Tuchel’s squad for the Blues opening top-flight clash last weekend. Chelsea beat Crystal Palace 3-0 in their season opener while Newcastle went down 4-2 at home to West Ham United.
The Tynesiders need defensive reinforcements after losing Florian Lejeune to Alaves. They were hoping to secure a loan deal for Manchester United’s Axel Tuanzebe but he opted for Aston Villa instead.
Ampadu is a versatile player who can also operate in a defensive midfield role. Back in April he admitted his Chelsea future was up in the air after an enjoyable stint at Bramall Lane.
“It’s been a huge season for me, the biggest I have had as a footballer,” he said. “I will take everything away from it that I can.
“Whether that’s learning and adapting to the Premier League, watching games back on myself and seeing what I can improve on, which I do regularly anyway, off the pitch stuff, mentally, how to look after myself.