NEWCASTLE UNITED have made a loan offer for Ademola Lookman, but Red Bull Leipzig are extremely reluctant to allow the former Everton winger to leave on a temporary basis this month.

Steve Bruce has spent the last seven days pursuing a number of different attacking targets and has also held discussions over Olivier Giroud and Krzysztof Piatek as he attempts to increase his options in the final third.

However, the Newcastle boss yesterday conceded a deal was not imminent and hinted he could well reach the end of the month without having added to his Magpies squad.

There has been plenty of talk about Lookman’s future in the last couple of days, but much of that has been agent-driven with the 22-year-old keen to move on in an attempt to increase his prospects of playing regular first-team football in the second half of the season.

Having joined Leipzig for £22.5m in the summer after a successful loan spell in Germany last term, Lookman has made just one Bundesliga start this season and is worried his career could stagnate if he remains with his current employers.

However, Leipzig are in no mood to cut their losses, regarding the England Under-21 international as an extremely bright future prospect despite his lack of involvement in the last few months.

Leipzig officials will listen to offers for a permanent transfer, provided they at least match the sum that was shelled out to sign Lookman in July, but have all-but-ruled out any prospect of a loan deal.

Newcastle are pushing for a loan with a view to a permanent transfer in the summer, but Leipzig do not regard that as an appealing proposition. As things stand, talks appear to have reached an impasse.

“I’ve been linked with 38 players that have been run past me by the press office, and he’s one of them,” said Bruce, when asked directly about Newcastle’s interest in Lookman. “He’s a good player and I like him, but it’s a bit far off at the minute.”

The same is true of Newcastle’s pursuit of Giroud and Piatek, with neither player looking likely to move to St James’ Park.

The Magpies offered to take Giroud from Chelsea on a loan deal to the end of the season, but the Frenchman is set to complete a permanent £10m switch to Inter Milan. Giroud’s representatives met Inter officials earlier this week, with Frank Lampard having decided to cash in on the 33-year-old, who is due to become a free agent in the summer.

Newcastle have also inquired about the possibility of signing Piatek on loan from AC Milan, but the Poland international is the subject of interest from a number of different quarters, making a switch to Tyneside extremely unlikely.

Tottenham are set to talk to Piatek’s representatives over the weekend, while Bayer Leverkusen have also tabled a formal offer to the Milan hierarchy.

Ideally, Bruce would like to bring in a new forward this month, with Andy Carroll and Dwight Gayle both having suffered from injuries in the first half of the season and record signing Joelinton having scored just one goal in 22 appearances.

However, the Magpies manager continues to insist he will not rush through a deal for the sake of it, and will not be unhappy if the transfer window closes without anyone having arrived at the club.

“We’re like everybody else,” said Bruce. “We said from day one that January was always going to be difficult. We have to have people who are going to come and improve us. If there’s something available and there’s a deal to be done, we’ll try to do it. It’s as simple as that.

“There’s been one or two sensational (January) transfers over the years – (Virgil) van Dijk for example – but usually teams don’t want to sell their best players. It’s a difficult market. You end up looking at people who have fallen out with somebody and that’s not a good thing.

“There have been one or two inroads maybe, but you think you’re getting somewhere and then it shuts in your face. If we can get to the level of a certain type of player, who can improve us, then we’ll act. If we can’t do that, then what’s the point?”

If no one signs this month, Bruce will be extremely reluctant to lose anyone currently involved in the first-team squad.

Gayle falls into that category, and while the striker has only made one league start this term, he will be in the squad that travels to Wolves today and remains an important asset given Newcastle’s overall lack of a goal threat.

There has been considerable Championship interest in Gayle, although Newcastle officials are privately sceptical than anyone in the second tier could afford to sign the 29-year-old or pay his wages for a loan deal.

There is no chance of the Magpies subsidising a portion of his wages if he was to move elsewhere, and whatever happens in terms of approaches, Bruce will only allow Gayle to leave if a cast-iron replacement is already in place.

“I can see a role for Dwight,” he said. “I’ve always liked him. Unfortunately, he got injured for the best part of two-and-a-half months. Whatever happened to him in the past, he hasn’t felt part of the picture, but I started him against Manchester United. He was stiff afterwards because it was his first game for months, but he’s available for the Wolves game. Let’s see what that brings.

“I’ve had the conversation about Dwight lots of times. He’s a very good player and a vital part of the squad. I understand he might be (frustrated). I wouldn’t expect any different, I’d be the same. If you don’t play, you’re not happy. It’s part of the job managing that, but over the last few weeks, everybody’s played. He’s going to get his chance.”