By Harry Sykes
Newcastle have made Nottingham Forest attacker Ben Osborn one of their top summer targets if they secure promotion, according to a report.
The Mirror claim the north-east giants are plotting a bid for the wide man after being impressed by his development at the Championship strugglers.
It is said that Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez is a big admirer of Osborn, 22, and tried to sign him during the January transfer window.
Forest were unwilling to cave in to the Championship leaders at that point but that has not put Benitez off another swoop for the youngster, who can play on both flanks and also slot into central midfield.
Forest academy product Osborn, who joined the club at the age of nine, has made 39 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring four goals and supplying five assists.
In total, he has made 125 appearances for the east Midlands club, which have yielded 10 goals and 17 assists.
His pedigree is also evident from the fact that he has been capped by England at Under-20 level.
Newcastle appear well placed to make a move for Osborn, given that they are top of the Championship by three points despite drawing at Reading on Tuesday night.
Crucially, Benitez’s side have opened up a nine-point cushion over Huddersfield in third place as the home in on automatic promotion and an instant return to the top flight.
In other Newcastle transfer news, Mike Ashley is plotting a sensational £30million bid.