Newcastle United could target Ainsley Maitland-Niles if the Toon fail to re-sign Joe Willock in any capacity this summer.
The Athletic report that Steve Bruce’s side are eyeing a move for the Hale End graduate as an alternative to Willock.
Maitland-Niles is allowed to leave Arsenal after spending last season on loan with West Bromwich Albion for five months.
The England international is eager to play first-team football in the Premier League. And Newcastle could be an ideal landing spot for Maitland-Niles if the northeast side can’t secure a deal for Willock.
It’s unknown where the 21-year-old midfielder will end up ahead of next season. However, Willock has featured for Arsenal on a handful of occasions for the Gunners this summer in friendlies against Rangers and Millwall.
However, with Mikel Arteta’s side not looking any closer to signing a new attacking midfielder this summer, there could be a chance that Willock is used as an alternative option to Emile Smith Rowe.
The Croydon-born academy graduate recently signed a new long-term deal with Arsenal and was entrusted with the number ten shirt. Reports also suggest that the Gunners won’t look to sign an attacking midfielder who will replace Smith Rowe in the starting XI.
The future of Willock will likely be decided this summer. The youngster flourished with Newcastle last season. And Arsenal have to settle on whether to retain the midfielder or to let him move on from the club.
Indeed, Newcastle could realistically make a move for Maitland-Niles if Willock decides to stay at Arsenal.
The 24-year-old midfielder will be a welcome addition on Tyneside based on his versatility as well as his ability to push the ball forward.
The former West Brom loanee is keen to play regular football in the Premier League. And Newcastle could be a great option for Maitland-Niles if the Magpies fail to secure the signature of Willock.