Newcastle interested in signing Rangers prodigy Lewis MacLeod

Newcastle have reportedly entered the race to sign Rangers youngster Lewis MacLeod.

The pressure on Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has subsided in recent weeks, with Newcastle racking up five Premier League wins in a row.

Victories over Leicester, Tottenham, Liverpool, West Brom and QPR have taken Newcastle from the relegation zone into the top four, and Pardew will now hope to take the club back into European football.

If that's the aim, then the Magpies will need to make some additions in January, particularly with the limited impact of summer signings such as Siem De Jong, Remy Cabella, Emmanuel Riviere and Facundo Ferreyra.

With the winter transfer just a matter of weeks away, the rumour mill is working in overdrive, and that includes Newcastle - who reportedly want to sign Rangers midfielder Lewis MacLeod.

The 20-year-old has impressed north of the border this season, even earning a call-up to Gordon Strachan's Scotland squad despite playing in the second tier of Scottish football.

His exploits at Ibrox have attracted interest from Aston Villa and Burnley already this season, but reports are now linking Newcastle with a move too, with Pardew placing more emphasis on young players this season.

One of the interesting sub-sections of this particularly transfer rumour is the role played by Newcastle owner Mike Ashley.

Ashley is a major shareholder at Rangers, lending the club money on a regular basis. With such an influence at the club, the Magpies may well hope that he can swing the chase for MacLeod in their favour.

Regardless, the more impressive displays from MacLeod, the more interest there will be in his services - and more teams will surely compete with Villa, Burnley and now Newcastle for the youngster's signature.

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