Joey Barton raves about Newcastle target Dwight McNeil

Former Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton has heaped praise on Steve Bruce’s £30m target Dwight McNeil.

Earlier this month, we covered reports that Bruce wants to sign the highly talented winger this summer.

Barton has now revealed that McNeil was close to joining Fleetwood Town on loan last season.

He also watched the player closely when he played for Burnley. McNeil was 16-years-old back then.

Barton said to The Clitheroe Advertiser and Times: “Burnley have some younger players coming through with Dwight McNeil, who we almost weirdly got on loan last season, but the gaffer (Sean Dyche) decided to keep him in at the last minute because of the Europa League. If we’d have got him, we’d have had a player on our hands…But having almost got him on loan, I’ve been watching his development and going ‘God, if we’d got him, that would have been alright!'”

He added: “I remember him (at Burnley), but he was like a stick insect! You always see the younger lads, but when they join in, you sit up and take notice, and Dwight was probably a little bit smaller. To be fair to him, he’s kicked on and looks a real prospect.”

It will be interesting to see if Newcastle manage to sign the young winger this summer. McNeil would add pace and flair to Bruce’s attack.

The Magpies are in desperate need of someone like him and they have been linked with Allan Saint-Maximin as well.

It is clear that Bruce is looking to bring in tricky and pacy wide players.

However, Burnley’s asking price could be a problem for the Premier League side.

McNeil might relish the chance to make the step up but Burnley are under no pressure to sell. Newcastle will have to pay over the odds if they want to sign him.