By Will Butcher

Newcastle have contacted two Championship clubs about a loan deal for defender Kevin Mbabu, according to a report.

Manager Rafa Benitez is trying to find first-team football for his Switzerland youth international, after making just five appearances in three years for the north-east giants.

The Evening Chronicle claim that the Magpies’ officials have been in contact with Preston North End and Birmingham City over a loan move that would see Mbabu spend half a season away from Tyneside.

This comes after 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 and has two years remaining on his Magpies deal.

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.

In other Newcastle transfer news, Benitez has confirmed a deal to sign this European record breaker.