Are Newcastle United Celtic's chief rival in race for Chelsea's Charly Musonda?

Newcastle United's Spanish manager Rafael Benitez shouts instructions to his players from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Newcastle...

Rafa Benitez was interested in Charly Musonda in the summer and the long-running Celtic target might be available for loan in January.

Charly Musonda of Chelsea celebrates after scoring during the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Chelsea and Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge on September 19, 2017 in London,...

Who knows where Charly Musonda stands right now at Chelsea? Speculation has been rife over the last few weeks that the Belgian winger will leave Stamford Bridge on loan but, with a month until the January window swings open, we are still not 100 per cent sure whether Musonda is available.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte clearly rates him highly, handing the 21-year-old his first-team debut this season and stating that he will play a big part in the Premier League champions’ future.

But after Musonda aimed a less-than-subtle rant at his current employers on Instagram, criticising them for his lack of opportunities, The Standard claimed that Chelsea will respond by sending him out on loan – less as a punishment and more to give him a chance to prove himself.

Charly Musonda of Chelsea shoots during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea at Selhurst Park on October 14, 2017 in London, England.

The question is, where will one of the most skilful talents in European football by plying his trade by the time January comes to a close?

Celtic attempted to lure Musonda to Scotland in the summer and Brendan Rodgers was even willing to OK a £5 million deal. And The Scotsman claimed that The Bhoys are continuing to monitor the situation ahead of the January window.

But Newcastle United may be one to watch. According to The Chronicle, Magpies boss Rafa Benitez was running the rule over Musonda in the summer while attempting in vein to bring fellow Chelsea youngster Kenedy to St James’ Park.

Newcastle United's Spanish manager Rafael Benitez shouts instructions to his players from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Newcastle...

With Benitez admitting that he would be open to loan deals in the New Year, he could turn his attention back to Musonda to aid a Newcastle side lacking anyone with the Belgian’s dextrous dribbling, vision and ability to produce something out of nothing.

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