Arsenal are preparing themselves for Newcastle United to raid their squad of a whopping four players.
That's according to The Telegraph, who say that the relegation-threatened Magpies are looking to rebuild this winter, having secured the services of Kieran Trippier for a fee of around £12m.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been linked with a move to the north-east following the disciplinary issues that led to his captaincy being stripped last month. But the Gabonese striker is not alone – as the Toon are eyeing Eddie Nketiah, Rob Holding and Mohamed Elneny, too.
Nketiah is free to leave the Gunners for free in the summer and despite free-scoring exploits in the League Cup, has struggled for game time this season. The young striker has become a target for Borussia Monchengladbach but it is thought Arsenal will offer him another contract before his current one runs out.
Holding, meanwhile, seems a more valued member of the squad. The centre-back is one of Arteta's so-called "leadership group" and one of a few players who captain the Gunners on occasion.
'The Bolton Baresi' has actually been a target for Eddie Howe in the past, however. Back when Arsenal signed the defender for £2m, Howe's Bournemouth were reportedly interested in his services – and though he has often been criticised during his time at the Emirates Stadium for his lack of technical ability, his leadership and attitude would be much-appreciated on Tyneside.
Elneny, who completes the quartet of players, has been used sparingly by Arteta but has found himself to become a useful squad player.
Though limited as a midfielder, the Egyptian is at least secure in possession enough to be trusted in front of a back four. Elneny is currently on Africa Cup of Nations duty with his nation and it's thought he will not remain at Arsenal beyond his contract expiring in the summer.
Though the reported bid from Newcastle seems sensible – since none of these players are key to Arsenal – it is a little ambitious. Arteta seems unlikely to be willing to let all four stars go, especially Holding, though it's possible that he would accept Aubameyang and Nketiah leaving.
Arsenal are currently in the market for strikers and midfielders.
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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. He is a keen player of the Football Manager series and creates Twitter accounts for his Fantasy Premier League team every year, before losing interest in his team every September.
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