Newcastle United could be set to sign summer transfer target Alan Judge for a small fee, according to reports.
The 28-year-old was the result of heavy interest from Rafael Benitez' side in the summer, but Judge's recovery from a broken leg reportedly halted his move to Tyneside.
Benitez was said to have wanted to wait until January to reassess the Brentford man's recovery, though the situation has become no better with the winger still yet to make an appearance for the Bees this term.
However, with a price to pay of reportedly just £600,000, the United boss may be tempted to take a punt on the Republic of Ireland International. Though, the reported lowered price is hard to believe given Brentford were speculated to have wanted £10million for Judge in August.
Last season's horror injury
It was almost a perfect season on a personal level for Judge. The 28-year-old bagged 14 goals and 12 assists in 38 appearances for Brentford, with a call-up to the European Championships with the Republic of Ireland almost a certainty.
Unfortunately, with six games to go in the Championship season, on Saturday, April 9, Judge was on the end of a heavy tackle from Ipswich's Luke Hyam, which left the winger on the ground for eight minutes- he also required oxygen before he was stretchered off the pitch.
Judge's worst fears were then later confirmed as scans showed he had broken his leg. The former Plymouth Argyle man instantly underwent surgery a few days after the incident.
Bees boss Dean Smith spoke about the incident after the game at Portman Road in which he heard the noise from the tackle from his dugout. Smith said he'd been "hoping it was a shin pad rather that the crack of the bone".
African Cup of Nations is just around the corner
With Mohammed Diame and Christian Atsu set to represent their respective countries at next month's African Cup of Nations in Gabon, and with Jonjo Shelvey expected to be out for fives games through suspension, Benitez will be keen to bring an attacking option who can fill the void left by those players.
Judge is a versatile option with the ability to play in behind the striker or taking up a position in the wide areas. Although for a possible price of £600,000 seeming tempted, Benitez will need a player who can come straight into the starting 11 and perform to a high standard - that could be a problem for Judge given he is yet to make an appearance for Brentford this season - suggesting he still isn't near fit.
However, two players that have been linked with the Magpies is Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Fabian Delph. Both players are currently out of favour at their Premier League clubs. Benitez may eye those top flight players as a more suitable option, if a deal looks possible.