By Will Butcher

Championship side Preston North End are interested in Newcastle’s Swiss youngster Kevin Mbabu, according to a tweet.

The versatile defender has been told he can leave St. James’ Park on-loan as he expands his search for first-team football.

The Chronicle’s chief sports writer Lee Ryder reported via his Twitter account that the Lilywhites are one of the clubs interested in the 21-year-old.

Mbabu, who signed for the Magpies three years ago from Swiss side Servette, has made just five appearances for Newcastle.

The Evening Chronicle’s Tuesday transfer blog (2.30pm) claimed that the former Switzerland Under-19 international is attracting the interest of Championship and League One clubs.

Mbabu made his debut for the Magpies at the start of last season in their League Cup game against Sheffield Wednesday, and also started against Chelsea in the Premier League.

During the second half of the 2014-15 season, Mbabu was loaned to Rangers but failed to make a single appearance for the Gers.

The versatile defender is predominantly a right-back, but can also play at centre-back and on the left side of the defence.

The Magpies are likely to allow him to leave after making three defensive signings this summer in Ciaran Clark, Grant Hanley and Jesus Gamez, while they are also in hot pursuit of Brendan Galloway.

Mbabu is only likely to leave on a loan basis though, and has two years remaining on his current Magpies deal.

In other Newcastle transfer news, Siem de Jong’s brother has urged him to join Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven.