NEWCASTLE UNITED are set to kick off their summer recruitment drive with the free transfer of Chelsea youngster Kyle Scott.

The 21-year-old midfielder will leave Stamford Bridge as a free agent this summer, and despite the ongoing uncertainty around the ownership and management of Newcastle, the Magpies will offer him an opportunity to remain with Premier League employers.

Scott’s only senior appearance for Chelsea came in the 2017-18 campaign, when he appeared as a substitute in an FA Cup win over Hull City.

At that stage, it looked as though Antonio Conte was going to start integrating him into Chelsea’s senior squad, but the arrival of Maurizio Sarri as manager saw him tumble down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge.

He spent the first half of last season on loan at Dutch Second Division club Telstar, scoring two goals, but returned to Chelsea when his loan was not extended in January.

He has not been offered a new deal with the Blues, and while a number of Dutch clubs are understood to be interested in signing him this summer, he would prefer to remain in England.

Newcastle’s scouting team have watched him on a number of occasions in the last 12 months, and have recommended signing him even though there could be major changes at St James’ Park this summer.

Mike Ashley’s future plans remain shrouded in uncertainty, with the Dubai-based Bin Zayed Group, fronted by Sheikh Khaled, yet to follow up on their initial interest in acquiring Newcastle.

The group have signed a heads-of-terms agreement with Ashley and agreed on a £350m price, but are yet to enter into a phase of exclusivity and have not drawn up any detailed contracts for a sale.

Sources close to the takeover process suggest there is still a great deal of scepticism about the group’s ability to follow up on their initial statements that suggested a final conclusion was close.

However, the Bin Zayed Group are not the only interested party currently involved in discussions about a possible sale, with Ashley understood to be overseeing talks with a number of potential bidders.