By Matt Farr
Bradford have approached Newcastle over the potential transfer of Alex Gilliead to the club this summer, according to a report.
The Chronicle claim that the League One side have made a move over the possibility of signing the promising 21-year-old forward on a permanent basis.
Gilliead has been on loan at Bradford since January, but has impressed enough during his brief time in the third tier to warrant interest from the club in a permanent stay.
Newcastle’s Championship rivals Barnsley, who already have young goalscorer Adam Armstrong on loan from the Magpies, are also believed to be interested in signing Gilliead.
He had spent the first half of the campaign on loan at League Two outfit Luton Town, where he contributed one goal and one assist from 18 appearances.
However, Newcastle eye Gilliead as a potential future first team asset, and will be reluctant to let him quit St. James’ Park on a permanent basis.
The England Under 20 international has yet to make his mark on the first teams setup on Tyneside, but the club rate him highly.
Gilliead has seen his progress with Bradford stall in recent weeks after suffering a hamstring injury against Coventry.
Football Insider verdict
With Newcastle homing in on a return to the Premier League, Gilliead is still far below the required standard of a top division footballer. However, they should not take that as reason to offload the promising youngster this summer. He has impressed in League Two and now League One, so the next logical step should be for them to find a Championship side willing to take him under their wing. Barnsley could be an ideal fit, given the past business between the two sides – and their reported interest – but only on a loan basis. At that point, they should assess Gilliead and his long term future, with his contract set to expire in 2018.
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