Newcastle are eyeing a loan transfer for Arsenal defender Willam Saliba as interest mounts in the centre-back, according to a report.
The 20-year-old signed for the Gunners in the summer of 2019 for £27million, but he has faced a tough time since. After returning to Saint-Etienne on loan last season, he arrived back in north London with excitement about his role. However, it soon became clear that he sought another spell away.
The defender did not get his move last summer, though, and had to wait until January to move to Nice.
Indeed, he failed to make a single first-team appearance for the first half of the campaign. Boss Mikel Arteta subsequently faced criticism from the player for his inaction.
Saliba has impressed at Nice and talk of his potential role at Arsenal has resurfaced. According to the Daily Mail, Newcastle want to take him on loan next term.
However, the Frenchman is waiting for talks with Arteta over his plans for the Arsenal squad.
The Gunners have released David Luiz, with reports claiming that a Bayer Leverkusen man is on their radar as a replacement.
For Newcastle, meanwhile, Saliba is the club’s back-up transfer option. The Magpies had looked at signing Celtic’s Kristoffer Ajer, but that transfer now looks unlikely.
As a result, Steve Bruce’s club feel that Saliba would be a solid alternative. That is despite him never having played a competitive game for Arsenal.
Nevertheless, the defender made 20 Ligue 1 appearances for Nice – 22 in all competitions – last season.
Saliba is the second Arsenal star Newcastle are targeting, after Joe Willock. The attacker enjoyed a sensational loan spell on Tyneside, steering the Magpies well clear of relegation.
Arsenal make goalkeeper offer
Meanwhile, Arsenal have reportedly made an offer for Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana.
The Gunners are looking to add some depth to their goalkeeping ranks and Arteta is understood to want Onana to challenge Bernd Leno for the No. 1 role.
But uncertainty remains over the Cameroonian’s availability as he appeals a ban handed out by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.