NEWCASTLE UNITED'S promising French midfielder Mehdi Abeid is preparing for a January departure from St James' Park.

The 20-year-old has been unable to force his way in to Alan Pardew's first team plans this season, despite making his first start of the season a week ago.

And Abeid has been told by his manager that next month is the ideal time for him to head out on loan to aid his development.

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There are a number of lower league clubs interested in taking him on short-term basis, while the former RC Lens youngster is attracted by a move back to France in the new year.

Abeid said: “The manager has told me to go on loan, get more experience and to come back and get better. The manager likes me, I think, we have a good relationship and we have spoken many times. I hope to go on loan soon and get some more experience of first team football.

“It's been nice playing for the reserves but I would like to play at a higher level than that to become a better player. I can see me leaving in January, maybe in England or France. I'm not sure yet.”

Despite making the bench a few times, Abeid is yet to make an appearance in the Premier League for the Magpies.

He has started a game in the League Cup and FA Cup during his 17 months on Tyneside and played the full 90 minutes when Newcastle lost in Bordeaux in the Europa League last Thursday.

More often than not Abeid has been figuring for Newcastle's development squad this season and he feels that is helping him to become a better player.

“I train every day with Newcastle, I aim to do my best every day with Newcastle and I feel like I am improving as a player with Newcastle when I am playing with the reserve team,” he said.

“It's what I try to do to impress the manager. Every time I get the chance to train with the first team I try to make sure I do my best so that I get the chance.”

Abeid moved to Newcastle after eight years with Lens, where he had been called up to represent France at Under-16 through to Under-23 level. Despite limited first team opportunities, he is satisfied with the decision he made to cross the English Channel.

“It's been great for me to come to Newcastle and to train with better players every day,” he said. “I progress every day because of those players I am working with. That's what I need to become a better player.

“I know I can play with the first team and I have to keep going, show my character that I can play for the Newcastle first team.”

Abeid's hopes of forcing his way in to the Newcastle team had looked like improving when injuries were suffered by Yohan Cabaye and Cheik Tiote.

However, despite his Europa League outing, Abeid accepts his opportunities will continue to be limited this season.

Cabaye is also ahead of schedule in his recovery from two groin operations and could be back in the mix before the initial February prediction. Defender Steven Taylor, also thought to have been out a similar length of time, is also making good progress from hamstring trouble.