Everton have seen an initial bid rejected for Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff, 90min has been told.
The 24-year-old has struggled to make any impact since Eddie Howe replaced Steve Bruce in the St. James' Park dugout, making just three appearances in the new manager's eight matches so far.
Longstaff is out of contract at the end of the season and there is a mutual desire for a reunion between him and former Magpies boss Rafa Benitez at Goodison Park.
However, Newcastle are keen to hold onto the player for the time being. As such, 90min understands they have rejected an opening bid from the Toffees.
That stance could change later in the January window, with Howe backed with a substantial budget as Newcastle's new owners look to stave off the threat of relegation. England international Kieran Trippier will become the first signing of the new regime imminently, arriving in a £15m move from Atletico Madrid on a three-and-a-half year contract.
As well as a right-back, they want a central defender, two midfielders and at least one additional forward, but more likely two. They would also be open to additional opportunities if the deal was right.
The arrival of a new central midfielder could pave the way for Longstaff's exit, ending his association with the club he supported as a boy.
Everton had considered including wantaway left-back Lucas Digne in their bid for Longstaff, but the player has no interest in moving to Tyneside. Chelsea, West Ham and Leicester City are the other Premier League clubs interested.
Newcastle's next Premier League match is due to take place on 15 January against Watford - one of their biggest rivals in the battle to avoid relegation - and Howe is understood to want at least two new faces available for that clash.
Source : 90min