Steve Bruce hopes Fabian Schar holds the key to bringing Granit Xhaka to Newcastle in January, Sky Sports News understands.
Xhaka was stripped of the captaincy following a confrontation with Arsenal fans against Crystal Palace and has not featured for the first team since.
Bruce has been made aware of the Swiss captain's availability, and hopes his close friendship with compatriot Schar could give Newcastle a chance of signing the midfielder on loan.
Xhaka is not short of interest in his talents, particularly from Italy, and is keeping his options open.
Bruce is keen to add a forward and midfielder in January. He knows a loan deal for Xhaka could prove difficult, but has been buoyed by the way the club went about bringing in Andy Carroll for him on Deadline Day.
Newcastle would have to pay a significant portion of the 27-year-old's Arsenal wages for any deal to happen.
Schar, who is currently out with a knee injury, told Sky Sports News earlier this month Xhaka's treatment from the Arsenal fans is the worst thing that can happen to a player, and said he "can't wait to give him a hug" when he sees him next.
Newcastle have two domestic loans available, but one player would need to be cut from their Premier League pool to allow Xhaka to sign.
When does the January transfer window open?
As the January transfer window inches ever closer, clubs across the Premier League, Europe and beyond will be identifying potential transfer targets and holding discussions with clubs and agents over future deals.
At this traditionally difficult time to make big moves, the start of the new year looks set to be frantic for a host of top Premier League clubs.
Where can you follow all the latest transfer news?
As well as keeping an eye on Sky Sports News, you can make sure you don't miss a thing with our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.
There will also be the return of the Transfer Talk Podcast and some exciting new features coming your way...