Newcastle’s search for attacking reinforcements has taken them to the fourth tier of English football.
It’s been a disappointing League Two campaign for Scunthorpe United so far, but their one shining light is John McAtee.
And according to the Grimsby Telegraph, Newcastle are keeping a close eye on the 20-year-old.
McAtee is an attacking midfielder, and joined the Iron in the summer after being released by Shrewsbury.
He’s enjoyed a strong start to 2020, scoring twice and providing two assists since forcing his way into the first-team. He’s also impressed in the youth ranks, which is where Newcastle first saw him.
The report states that the Magpies became aware of McAtee during an Under-23 clash between the two sides back in November.
The youngster’s contract at Glanford Park expires this summer, but the Grimsby Telegraph claim that they do have an option to extend his deal.
That means Newcastle will have to pay a fee for McAtee, but it could be money well spent.
The emergence of the Longstaff brothers has shown that there is a route to the first-team for young players, which could be enough to convince McAtee to take the plunge and join Steve Bruce’s side.
The likes of Dele Alli have proved that players from the Football League can have an impact in the top flight, so McAtee could be a savvy purchase.
Even if he’s not ready to make an immediate impact, he has the potential to be a future star.