Championship side Blackburn Rovers are making late moves to sign Newcastle United winger Christian Atsu on Deadline Day, according to The Sun’s Alan Nixon.
Toon boss Steve Bruce has made the Ghanaian available for a move away from St. James’ Park before Friday’s 23:00 shutoff, with the club urgently trying to offload players in order to fit January arrivals Nabil Bentaleb, Valentino Lazaro and Danny Rose into our 25-man Premier League squad.
Atsu had peaked intrigued from elsewhere in the second-tier and in Europe: with West Bromwich Albion reportedly eying his services, while Nottingham Forest, Fulham and Greek giants Olympiacos have also been mentioned.
The 28-year-old may yet be moving to Ewood Park on Friday, though, as Nixon understands Rovers are trying to capture his services on loan for the remainder of the season.
Blackburn are still a ‘fair’ way from meeting United’s demands to release Atsu on loan this month and with the clock ticking, will need to make progress soon if they are to sign the £5.4m-rated attacker.
What is likely holding up negotiations is that the Magpies are demanding that any side wishing to sign Atsu on Deadline Day pays his full wage for him to leave in a temporary deal.
Will Atsu leave on Deadline Day?
The Ghanaian being made available for a transfer really ought to come as no surprise to the St. James’ Park faithful, as the £30,000-per-week forward has failed to score in any of his 22 outings in all competitions under Bruce.
He has helped create four strikes this term, with three assists in the Premier League and one in the FA Cup after setting up Miguel Almiron’s second goal for the Magpies while playing as a makeshift left-back.
Blackburn are in with an outside shot at securing a Play-Off berth in the Championship under Tony Mowbray this season, with the Ewood Park side currently in tenth place and facing a four-point deficit to Bristol City in sixth.
Mowbray may feel he needs more offensive weapons at his disposal, as Rovers only rank 20th for shots-per-game with an average of 11. They are also 19th for key passes (8.2) and successful dribbles (7.6).
In other Newcastle United news, two European giants have been linked with a Toon talent.