Photo: Linked-away Newcastle defender Mike Williamson pictured in training as speculation mounts

Leeds and Aston Villa are monitoring the Newcastle United defender closely but he continues to work hard on Tyneside.

Mike Williamson was pictured in Newcastle training on Tuesday evening despite speculation mounting with regards to his St James' Park future. 

HITC Sport revealed that the likes of Aston Villa, Leeds United and more are monitoring the 31-year-old, who has been deemed surplus to requirements at Newcastle.

For now, though, Williamson remains part of his side's pre-season plans, joining in with the likes of new signing Aleksandar Mitrovic in practice. 

The Chronicle have also suggested the Magpies are keen to offload Williamson, crediting Leeds with an interest earlier this summer. Their report suggested the 31-year-old is yet to attract current suitors but came several days ago, before the likes of Aston Villa and the Whites had shown fresh interest.

Wherever Williamson ends up, however, the longer it takes for Newcastle to offload him, the worse it will be for both the St James' Park outfit and his potential new club.

Unless, of course, the likes of Villa, Wednesday, Leeds and more are rebuffed and the experienced defender remains with Steve McClaren's side. But would that really be for the best when Williamson clearly struggled on Tyneside last season and could be better off in a new setting - and even better in the Championship not Premier League?

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