Despite being likely to miss the rest of the season, Newcastle loan player Alex Gilliead is in demand.

The 21 year old United winger has two clubs wanting to sign him permanently.

HITC Sport reported on Tuesday afternoon that their information was that Barnsley were looking to sign Alex Gilliead in the summer.

Then the Chronicle have followed that up by saying that his current loan club, League One Bradford City, are also keen to make his stay permanent.

The player was recalled by Newcastle a week and a half ago so their medical people could evaluate the winger’s condition after he was forced off in Bradford’s 2-0 win at Coventry.

Bradford are safely in the play-offs and only four points off the automatic promotion places for a hopeful return to the Championship.

Recent weeks had seen Alex Gilliead establishing himself in the first team and he’d started their last three matches, making the timing of the injury especially cruel.

His loan club Manager, Stuart McCall, says that his understanding is that the Newcastle player could be missing for up to eight weeks, which would effectively end his season.

Stuart McCall:

“It’s a huge blow to find out his tear had been a little bit bigger than we’d anticipated.

“Alex Gilliead had been in and around the team, pushing for a regular start, but he has got to be positive with his outlook.

“I don’t know if he’s a quick healer or not but say it’s four weeks, then we’re hopeful.

“The results of the scan will give us a more in-depth view but we’re confident he will still have a part to play.

“It’s a high grade tear, which can be anything from four to eight weeks but the doc at Newcastle wanted to have a scan and will then decide on that.

“As far as I understand, he’ll be back with us for his treatment and we’ll see how it goes.”

This summer will be a busy one for Rafa Benitez, especially if Newcastle are promoted. He has a host of players out on loan and we are sure to see many of them leave permanently before next season.

Whilst Gilliead only has one more year left on his contract, that wouldn’t be a huge problem if Newcastle decided to keep hold of him and see what happens in the next 12 months, as due to his age, Newcastle United would still be entitled to development compensation if the player ended up leaving in summer 2018.

These past two seasons have seen Alex Gilliead spend loan time at Carlisle, Luton and Bradford. Whatever happens to him from this point onwards, these 70 first team appearances he has made when out on loan, have undoubtedly enabled to make progress he never could have done by playing for Newcastle United’s Under 23s.