By Harry Sykes

Rafael Benitez has admitted that Newcastle are keeping close tabs on in-form playmaker Siem de Jong.

The Holland international joined PSV Eindhoven on loan from the north-east giants last summer after his first two seasons at the club were wrecked by injury.

De Jong initially struggled for fitness back in his homeland but he has appeared regularly of late and has showed his calibre with four goals in his last three matches.

This has prompted Newcastle fans to express hope that the 28-year-old can be re-integrated into Benitez’s squad next season rather than be offloaded in the summer.

The manager admitted he was aware of De Jong’s progress and said his transfer status will be discussed by the club at the end of the campaign.

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“We are following all the players on loan, we try to watch their games and keep in touch with them regularly,” said Benitez to the Chronicle.

“We will decide what is the best for us and them at the end of the season, but I’m happy to see him doing well of course.”

In 21 appearances in all competitions for PSV this season, De Jong has scored seven goals and supplied two assists, with six of his strikes coming in league matches.

For Newcastle, the man who made his name at Ajax has made a paltry 26 appearances, which have yielded just two goals.

In other Newcastle transfer news, Mike Ashley is plotting a sensational £30million bid.

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