By Danny Wright

21st Jan, 2018 | 2:37pm

Mike Ashley sanctions Newcastle swoop for £7m left-back from top six club, Everton also keen - report

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has sanctioned Rafa Benitez to launch a pursuit for Bristol City left-back Joe Bryan, according to a report.
The Mirror claimed in their live transfer blog on Sunday [02:08pm] that Everton and Brighton are also keen on Bryan, 24, with him being in hot form for Lee Johnson’s high-flying Robins in the Championship.
It is understood that Bristol City, who occupy the top six in the second-tier in fifth place, will allow Bryan to leave Ashton Gate for a fee worth £7million.
Ashley is said to have given Benitez the go-ahead to swoop for the left-back and Newcastle are now preparing to make a bid.
Bryan has been in fantastic form for Bristol City this season, making 30 appearances across all competitions, scoring four goals and supplying two assists in the process.
He was part of the Robins side that beat Manchester United in the League Cup in December when he got on the scoresheet in a 2-1 win against a team containing the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba.
Football Insider verdict
If Bristol City stick to their £7million asking fee for Bryan then Newcastle will do very well to get him. It seems that Ashley has given Benitez very limited funds to work with yet again this month so it would not be a surprise to see this interest reach a dead-end. Bristol City have a huge chance of promotion to the Premier League and Bryan has been one of their best players. He can play at left-back or on the left-wing, which is where he destroyed Man United in December. The Magpies do need a left-back this month, but they do need strengthening all over the pitch. Benitez may be one of the next Premier League managers to leave his job if this transfer window is a failure.
In other Newcastle United news, it has been confirmed that this Magpies colossus has left to join this mid-table club.
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