NEWCASTLE UNITED have discussed a possible loan move for Chelsea attacking midfielder Conor Gallagher – with Steve Bruce admitting there has been no significant progress with the club’s attempts to re-sign Joe Willock.

Bruce held talks over Gallagher last summer, only for the youngster to eventually agree a season-long loan with West Brom.

He performed creditably despite the Baggies’ relegation to the Championship, and returned to Chelsea’s senior squad earlier this summer hoping to force his way into Thomas Tuchel’s first-team plans.

However, with Tuchel boasting a plethora of attacking-midfield options, there appears to be little chance of Gallagher playing regular first-team football at Stamford Bridge next season.

As a result, there has already been talk of another loan deal, with Chelsea officials not wanting to sell the 21-year-old at such an early stage of his career.

The feeling is that another loan will benefit all parties, and the Newcastle hierarchy have flagged up their interest with their counterparts in South London.

Crystal Palace have signalled their desire to push for a loan deal of their own, but Bruce is understood to be hopeful of being able to push through an agreement that would see Gallagher move to St James’ Park for the whole of next season.

The England Under-21 international is not regarded as an alternative to Willock, but there is clearly an element of Newcastle assessing all likely outcomes when it comes to their attempts to remould their squad this summer.

Willock’s situation has not changed in the last week or so, with Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta still to make a final decision over whether to hold on to the attacking midfielder or allow him to leave the Emirates for the second season in a row.

Willock, who scored in the final seven games of last season during his loan spell on Tyneside, was part of the Arsenal side that drew 2-2 with Rangers in a pre-season game at Ibrox at the weekend.

“As I’ve said, it’s really Arsenal’s decision,” said Bruce. “And until Arsenal make a decision - a bit like all the big clubs, they have a look over pre-season – we’ll keep monitoring and badgering away. We’d love to do something, but it’s still Arsenal’s call.”

Meanwhile, former Newcastle winger Christian Atsu has joined Saudi Arabian side Al Raed on a free transfer, signing a two-year deal in the Middle East.