According to a report from The Telegraph, Yoshinori Muto is keen to leave Newcastle United during the January transfer window after struggling for game-time under Steve Bruce.
Muto arrived at St James’ Park for £9.5 million last summer (fee reported by Sky Sports). And there were early signs that he may prove to be a decent signing.
He marked his first Premier League start for the Magpies with a goal against Manchester United. Unfortunately, he has not scored a league goal since.
Bruce has barely used the Japan international this season. He has made one league start, with a further four appearances coming from the bench. Admittedly, Muto did score in the Carabao Cup tie with Cardiff City in August.
And it appears that Muto may not get many more chances to add to his Newcastle tally. The Telegraph reports that he is now looking to leave Tyneside due to being left frustrated with his lack of minutes.
TBR View – Muto may face further frustration
It would be no surprise if Muto faced further frustration in his attempts to get away from Newcastle. A loan move may represent the best way for the Magpies to secure a decent fee for the forward further down the line.
But Bruce does not have a big group of strikers. So if he is going to let one go, he will surely want to be able to bring in a replacement. And that will be much tougher if Muto leaves on loan.
Newcastle currently sit seven points clear of the bottom three. It is a strong position. But there is a long way to go, and Bruce may be wary of letting too many go in case he is forced to cope with a raft of injuries.
It is not difficult to imagine Newcastle being much more willing to sanction Muto’s exit in the summer. Despite the fact that he is something of a forgotten man, letting him go in January may be deemed to a gamble not worth taking.