By Matt Farr
Newcastle are looking to agree a January loan transfer for young striker Ivan Toney and have already held talks with his former club Northampton.
The League One side have emerged as a potential destination for the 20-year-old in the second half of the season.
The Northampton chairman Kelvin Thomas has revealed that extensive discussions have been held with Newcastle about striking a deal and that the decision is now in the hands of the player.
He told the Northampton Chronicle and Echo: “We have done whatever we can to bring Ivan Toney back to the club.
“He has returned to Newcastle United from his loan spell at Shrewsbury Town and the decision is now with him.”
The Newcastle Chronicle believe that the Magpies are hoping to send the young goalscorer out on loan for the remainder of the season.
Toney has fond memories of the League One side, netting 13 goals from 60 appearances in all competitions during his three-year stay.
Making his debut at the age of 16, he became the youngest first-team player in the Cobblers’ history, and eventually sealed a move to then-Premier League Newcastle in August 2015.
But the striker has appeared just twice for Newcastle since arriving at St. James’ Park, having spent much of his time out on loan.
He most recently appeared for Shrewsbury, following two separate spells on loan at Barnsley, but Toney opted against extending his spell with the Shrews.
However, with competition for places in the Newcastle first-team very tough, Toney is not expected to remain at the club for much longer, with Rafa Benitez looking into several potential destinations for him.
The 20-year-old made 26 appearances for Shrewsbury this season, and contributed seven goals and seven assists.
Football Insider verdict:
Another loan move is the best possible option for Toney. The in-form Dwight Gayle is already keeping the likes of Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez out of the Newcastle first-team, so Toney would only find himself warming the substitutes’ bench at best. The relationship and history Toney has with Northampton suggests it would be a great fit for him as his next destination, but it may not be the best one. So far, the youngster has only really experienced the League One stage. The next step for Newcastle to determine whether he is the real deal or not is to send him to a club in the Championship. He has already proven he can score goals in League One, but that matters little if the Magpies are looking to spend next season in the Premier League. At 20, there’s still plenty of development opportunities left before Newcastle should make a decision on his long-term future, but they should look at moving him up to the next level.
In other Newcastle news, Championship rivals Brighton are set to rival Newcastle for the signature of this midfield star.