Gelson Martins arrived at Atletico Madrid from Sporting last summer and has so far stuttered through his debut season.

The forward has struggled for minutes, having made only one start in the league and the Champions League.

Wednesday’s edition of Spanish newspaper AS claims Newcastle United have now joined the race for the 23-year-old and the Magpies ‘bid strongly’ for the player.

The Tyneside club are just above the relegation zone and Rafael Benitez wants to strengthen the squad for the second half of the season by bringing the Portugal international in the winter market on a loan deal.

Gelson’s desire is to play in England and the Premier League outfit are willing to pay €4-€5m as a loan fee to Atletico. These two points are key for Newcastle to gain ground over potential suitors for the winger.

It’s stated that right now, Newcastle are ‘best placed’ to get the transfer done.

Having failed to make it to Diego Simeone’s plans for this term, Atletico are willing to sanction a loan move for Gelson and want to close the operation before weekend. 

A move to Newcastle could see Martins play regularly and in the process, help them avoid finishing in the bottom three.

That’s the plan.