By Harry Sykes

Newcastle are keeping tabs on Dundalk winger Daryl Horgan while also scouting players from Scotland ahead of the January window, according to a report.

The Chronicle claim manager Rafael Benitez has set his sights on strengthening the Magpies squad when the window re-opens for transfers.

It is said that Benitez wants players who can help push the club over the promotion line in the second half of the season and take them back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

The report states that Newcastle are interested in Republic of Ireland Under-21 international Daryl Horgan and the club have also sent scouts north of the border this season to check out players in the Scottish Premiership.

“One of the key messages coming from Newcastle is that they will only sign players that are good enough to take the club back to the top, and also actually see United as a big step in their career,” the Chronicle report.

This comes after Benitez expressed his frustration at the likes of Moussa Sissoko and Georginio Wijnaldum quitting for Premier League clubs following relegation in May.

Horgan has caught the attention of Championship clubs following his impressive form for Irish outfit Dundalk, which included scoring against Zenit St Petersburg in the Europa League.

The 24-year-old, whose contract expires at the end of December, has also scored nine goals in 31 league matches for his club this year.

Speaking to the Ireland Independent, Horgan revealed that he would consider any offer put on the table by Newcastle after describing them as a huge club.

“Look, it’s very easy to say you’re interested,” Horgan revealed. “It’s very different to put at offer on the table and at the minute, there are no offers on the table.

“I’m a Dundalk player, I’m very happy at Dundalk, but as I said, if an offer does come in from somewhere, I’d have to consider it, especially something like a massive club like Newcastle.”

In other Newcastle transfer news, the club pushed out the boat to land a Scottish wonderkid.