In the least surprising turn of events this transfer window, rumours are beginning to swirl around a possible St. James' Park exit for 27-year-old left-back Matt Targett.
The former Southampton and Aston Villa defender has apparently become "frustrated with his lack of game time" under Eddie Howe, according to Jordan Cronin of NewcastleWorld.
Now firmly behind Dan Burn in the pecking order on the left side of the Magpies' defence, Targett has also seen Lewis Hall brought in from Chelsea this summer as more direct competition for a spot in the starting XI.
We mentioned back on the 16th of August that Hall's imminent arrival could spell the end of Targett's time on Tyneside, with Javier Manquillo similarly likely to depart following the signing of Tino Livramento from Southampton.
Cronin's story follows an exclusive from Craig Hope of The Mail on X earlier this afternoon, which claimed that both Fulham and Nottingham Forest had asked about the availability of our number 13 on loan:
While both approaches have apparently been rejected out of hand, if either club were to return with similar money to what we paid for Targett when signing him from Villa last summer (~£15 million) then it would be a shock to see Newcastle turning it down.
There aren't many players in our squad who aren't playing regularly, could command a fee in excess of £10 million, are on big wages, and are arguably third-choice in their positions. The club may even consider a loan with an obligation, as they did with Chris Wood last season.
We're sure Howe wouldn't welcome any disruption to his first-team squad at this late stage of the window, though, and we're certain Targett's departure wouldn't be sanctioned without another defender being brought in.
Let's see how this one unfolds in the final few days and if Sven Botman's injury, which isn't thought to be as serious as first feared, causes a late flurry of transfer activity.