NEWCASTLE UNITED have been forced to give up on one of their leading January loan targets after Chelsea boss Frank Lampard ruled out allowing defender Fikayo Tomori to leave Stamford Bridge this month.

With the transfer window now reopen, Magpies manager Steve Bruce had been targeting Tomori as he looks to make improvements to his squad.

The 23-year-old is known to be frustrated at his lack of game time in the first half of the season, and had been keen to leave Chelsea on a temporary basis in order to increase his chances of regular first-team football in the second half of the campaign.

Lampard had been minded to sanction a loan move, but a serious knee injury to Andreas Christensen has forced him into a rethink.

Christensen damaged his knee in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Aston Villa on December 28, and could be sidelined for a number of weeks. As a result, Lampard no longer wants to lose Tomori, a stance that has effectively drawn a line under any prospects of him moving to either Newcastle or Leeds, who had also expressed an interest in securing his services.

With Mike Ashley extremely reluctant to sanction any permanent additions this month, Bruce will be focusing his transfer attention on the loan market. Ideally, he would prefer to recruit players with previous experience of the Premier League, although as was the case with Valentino Lazaro last January, he is prepared to be flexible if an attractive opportunity arises.

He has spent the last few days assessing his options in a number of positions, with Bournemouth’s Josh King currently his leading target in the final third.

King, who is due to become a free agent in the summer, is expected to leave the Vitality Stadium this month, but Newcastle will face intense competition if they make a formal move for the Norway international.

West Ham United are currently strong favourites to sign King, who could find himself moving to the London Stadium to replace Sebastien Haller.

Haller, who was repeatedly linked with Newcastle prior to joining the Hammers 18 months ago, is reportedly close to sealing a surprise £22m move to Dutch side Ajax.