Newcastle United have emerged as the favourites to sign Manchester United youngster Tom Cleverley after Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed that the England Under-21 international will be allowed to leave Old Trafford on a season-long loan deal.
Magpies boss Chris Hughton made enquiries about Cleverley last season when the 20-year-old was on loan at Watford.
Hughton said recently: "We are looking at the loan market and, if someone becomes available who will add to our squad, of course we would be interested. We have made our enquiries and we're hopeful of bringing some in."
Meanwhile, Ferguson has said: "Tom is a very talented boy. He is going to be a very good footballer. We are also considering putting him on loan to a premier division team.
"He improved tremendously in his spell at Watford last year. He got an unfortunate injury towards the end of last season and was out for a long time. He has just come back and can play anywhere in midfield, which is always an advantage."
Cleverley has failed to make a first-team appearance for United but did feature in 35 games for Watford last season, scoring 11 times, and played ten games for Leicester City during a temporary spell at the Walkers Stadium in the second half of the 2008-09 campaign.