According to Football Insider, the Goodison Park outfit are currently bracing themselves for a bid from the Tynesiders for the 21-year-old, with Ashworth and co believed to be willing to splash out more than £30m on the Englishman.
The report suggests that the northeast side have turned their attention towards strengthening in attack after allowing Chris Wood to join Nottingham Forest on loan last week, with a ‘versatile’ forward seemingly on the agenda.
As the piece also noted, the Premier League high-flyers had previously shown an interest in signing the promising talent during the summer, with Chelsea also having been firmly in the mix for his signature.
A particular area of concern for manager Eddie Howe may well be on the left flank, with fleet-footed Frenchman, Allan Saint-Maximin having endured persistent injury woes once again this term.
That has seen Jacob Murphy enjoy a more prominent role in the side so far this season, although the 27-year-old has rarely been able to make the difference in the final third, with just one goal and one assist in 20 top-flight games.
Although the former Norwich City man may be a trusted member of Howe’s squad – having featured the joint-most of any player during the 45-year-old’s tenure to date – the wide man does boast a rather meagre record when it comes to goal contributions, with just six goals and ten assists in 130 games for the club to date.
Those woes should well ensure that Newcastle could land a big upgrade on the £35k-per-week dud by snapping up Gordon this month, with the latter man having contributed three goals in the league in the current campaign.
While the England U21 international “hasn’t exactly set the world on fire this season” – in the words of Tottenham Hotspur insider John Wenham – the youngster did impress in what was a breakthrough campaign last term, with four goals and two assists in the league alone.
The “special talent” – as lauded by pundit Adebayo Akinfenwa – does appear to be a player that can kick on even further in the coming years, having been praised by Magpies legend Alan Shearer for his “fearless attitude“.
Not only is Gordon outperforming Murphy in an attacking sense at present, but the Toffees sensation may also be able to offer Howe far more defensively, as he ranks in the top 1% for blocks and the top 3% for tackles made among those in his position in Europe, with the current Newcastle man ranking in just the top 16% and the top 31% for those same two metrics, respectively.
As his inconsistency this season has shown, the Liverpool-born menace still has a way to go to becoming a truly reliable, attacking threat, although the evidence would suggest that he could be the Murphy upgrade that Ashworth and co are craving.