In Focus: Bryan affordable for Newcastle United, but Everton provide competition

Newcastle United and Everton are both interested in signing Bristol City left-back Joe Bryan, according to The Mirror.

What’s the story?

The 24-year-old has seemingly attracted interest from the Premier League duo for his performances in the Championship this season.

Bryan, who has been at the club for his entire career so far, has played in all but one of the Robins’ league games.

Both Newcastle and Everton are believed to be in the market for a new left-back, and according to The Mirror, Bristol City could be willing to sell for around £7m.

Why do Newcastle want him?

Paul Dummett’s lengthy spell on the sidelines this season highlighted the full-back role as an issue.

Javier Manquillo has failed to impress in that position, while Rafael Benitez’s other options are relatively weak.

Bryan would be a strong addition, particularly as he can play as a wing-back or on the left side of midfield.

The £7m figure could also be affordable for Newcastle, whose transfer kitty remains unclear due to Mike Ashley’s intention to sell the club.

Is Everton a good fit?

Leighton Baines remains the Toffees’ first-choice left-back, but the Liverpudlian is in the latter stages of his career at the age of 33.

At the moment, he is on the treatment table with injury, which has left manager Sam Allardyce relying on Cuco Martina.

The former Southampton player has struggled to perform consistently well in that role, mainly due to the fact that he is predominantly right-footed.

Bryan has shown at Championship level that he could potentially fill the gap that Everton have.

What’s the verdict?

With the fee at a modest figure, both clubs could afford to meet Bristol City’s asking price, so a move could solely come down to preference from Bryan.

The left-back is likely to get regular game time at either club, but at Newcastle there is the danger of suffering relegation.

On top of that, the ownership issue presents a sense of instability, particularly as Benitez’s future seems uncertain.

Everton have also had their struggles this season, but moving to Goodison Park would be a big step up for Bryan.

The question will be whether the Englishman can cope with competing every week at the top level.