Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce has made enquiries for both Chris Smalling and Phil Jones since the Magpies learned that they would not be signing Rob Holding on loan, according to a report from The Telegraph.
talkSPORT reported right at the end of August that Holding was set to be confirmed as a Newcastle loanee imminently.
However, that announcement never came. And Holding has since started all three of Arsenal’s Premier League games this season.
Following that setback, The Telegraph reports that Bruce enquired about both Smalling and Jones.
TBR View: Wages make move for either seem unlikely
It is not clear whether Manchester United have suggested that there is any scope for a deal to be done for either.
But The Telegraph does note that Newcastle need to make space on the wage bill before they make anymore signings.
And judging by the pair’s reported wages, it looks difficult to imagine either ending up at St James’ Park before the deadline passes.
Spotrac shows that Jones earns £75,000-a-week, while Smalling earns £70,000-a-week. In contrast, according to Spotrac, no player in Newcastle’s squad earns more than Jones, and the third-highest paid player is apparently on £45,000-a-week.
And as noted by The Telegraph, Bruce has struggled to offload some of the club’s unwanted players for some time.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side could perhaps make a move slightly more likely by agreeing to cover some of the wages involved if a loan deal for one becomes a possibility.
But perhaps it would be fair to assume that Newcastle fans will not be expecting either to end up on Tyneside in the final stages of the window as things stand.