Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce

Plymouth Argyle have opened talks with Newcastle United to sign defender Kelland Watts, Football Insider can reveal.

The League One club are looking to strengthen their central defence ahead of the season and have lined up a move for the Magpies 20-year-old.

A recruitment source has told Football Insider that Plymouth are hopeful of striking a deal for Watts to join on a season-long loan.

Newcastle have given the green light for Watts to temporarily leave the club in order to gain senior match experience.

The 20-year-old has made one first-team appearance for the north-east giants.

He spent last season on loan at League Two outfits Stevenage, in the first half of the campaign, and Mansfield Town after the new year.

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Watts began the season at centre-back for Stevenage before operating as a utility player before dropping out of the squad before Christmas.

He then joined Mansfield and made eight consecutive starts, including one at centre-forward, before the League Two season ended prematurely when the country went into lockdown in March.

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce does not regard Watts as a potential first teamer going into the new Premier League campaign.

He is in no doubt that the rising star would be better served learning his trade in the Football League than playing Under-23s football.

In other Newcastle United news, the club have issued a response after an offer for 29-year-old Magpies star.