NEWCASTLE UNITED have admitted defeat in their pursuit of Brandon Williams, with Manchester United having ruled out allowing the youngster to leave on loan this month.

Steve Bruce is keen to recruit a couple of reinforcements before the transfer window closes on February 1, but has accepted he will have to focus on loan additions with Mike Ashley ruling out any permanent signings while he is still attempting to sell up.

Williams’ positional versatility had made him an attractive proposition as he is able to play anywhere across the backline.

However, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer selected the 20-year-old in his starting line-up for Manchester United’s 1-0 FA Cup victory over Watford last night, and increasingly views him as a back-up option at right-back even though he has spent the majority of his fledgling senior career on the left.

Solskjaer is expected to allow Timothy Fosu-Mensah to leave permanently this month as the Dutch defender’s contract, which will not be renewed, is set to expire at the end of the season, so rather than allowing Williams to leave on loan, the Manchester United boss is now set to keep the youngster at Old Trafford as back-up to Aaron Wan-Bassaka.

“I thought he (Williams) had a very good game,” said Solskjaer, in the wake of his side’s cup win. “Of course, he’s not played for a while, and he’s playing on the right-hand side. We want him to go and be an attacking full-back, and it might be easier for him on the right side.”

Newcastle have already been forced to end their interest in Fikayo Tomori this month after Chelsea boss Frank Lampard opted to keep the defender at Stamford Bridge.

Meanwhile, Steve Bruce is hoping Callum Wilson and Jonjo Shelvey will be available for Tuesday’s game at Sheffield United after the pair were omitted from Saturday’s 2-0 FA Cup defeat at Arsenal as a precautionary measure.