Newcastle United consider loan move for defender as club wait on Joe Willock decision from Arsenal

William Saliba has emerged as a loan target for Newcastle United.
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The Arsenal defender spent the second half of last season on loan at Nice.

Saliba is yet to play for the London club, having been loaned back to Saint-Etienne following a £30million move to the Emirates Stadium in 2019.

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Newcastle, strongly linked with a move for Celtic’s Kristoffer Ajer, are assessing their defensive options, and head coach Steve Bruce made it clear last season that the club would again be looking at free agents and loans given the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

William Saliba playing for loan club Nice.William Saliba playing for loan club Nice.
William Saliba playing for loan club Nice.

There will also be outgoings, and the club could move on 30-year-old defender Florian Lejeune, who spent last season on loan at Alaves after recovering from a knee operation. Also, Federico Fernandez, 32, is out of contract this summer, though he is in talks over a new deal at the club.

Newcastle have tracked Saliba for some time, but he may not be loaned out again by Arsenal.

David Luiz, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis have all left the club in the past six months, and Saliba could finally be set for a Premier League opportunity next season.

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta spoke about Saliba – and his future – last month.

"William is our player, for sure, and that's the decision we're going to be taking soon," said Arteta.

"When we finish the season, we’ll sit down and discuss the roles of every member in our squad, and how they can fulfil that role.

"He's our player, so he'll be back here for sure. After that, we will make a decision based on an agreement of the role each player is going to have in our squad."

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Premier League clubs are only allowed to loan one player from another club in the division, and Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock is a primary target for United following a successful half-season loan at St James’s Park.

Willock – who scored eight goals for Newcastle as the club pulled away from the relegation zone – may not be available for loan, and Arteta will have to make a decision on the 21-year-old’s future later this summer.

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