Newcastle United are reportedly close to signing Arsenal defender Rob Holding on a season-long loan.
The deal, as reported by The Athletic, is unlikely to include an option-to-buy.
Rob Holding Close to Newcastle United Loan
Arsenal Well-Stocked in Defensive Areas
Holding joined Arsenal from Bolton Wanderers in June 2016 and is still seen as a player who can feature prominently for the North London club.
The Gunners, however, appear keen to grant the player more top-flight experience with Steve Bruce‘s Newcastle ahead of a return to the club in 2021.
French defender William Saliba made his first Arsenal appearance in a friendly victory over MK Dons. If the former Saint-Etienne player is joined at the club as expected by Gabriel Magalhaes, then Mikel Arteta will have eight central defenders on the books in his first team.
Loaning the 24-year-old out for the season would consequently reduce the numbers in an increasingly-crowded Gunners defence.
Premier League Clubs Alerted to Holding Availability
Though he has fallen down the pecking order at the Emirates, Holding’s availability has triggered interest among multiple clubs in the Premier League.
Newcastle United appear set to win the race for his signature. Newly-promoted side Leeds United, however, had also been keen on a deal.
The Sun are reporting that Marcelo Bielsa is looking to recruit a new centre-back. The Argentine manager has so far failed in his attempts to bring in Brighton‘s Ben White, so has turned his attention towards Arsenal pair Holding and Calum Chambers.
Holding has made 78 appearances in his four-year spell with the Gunners so far. Last season, the defender played eight times in the Premier League. Appearances in the cup competitions brought his overall contribution to 18 matches.
Mikel Arteta’s side are in action this afternoon against Liverpool in the Community Shield. Holding’s loan to Newcastle is anticipated to go ahead after that encounter.