Norwich City 'line up' fresh bid for Newcastle United target as Sunderland legend tips Toon to win £2m defender race
Newcastle United and several of their Premier League rivals return to pre-season training this week as the transfer rumours continue to circulate.
Steve Bruce and co are yet to make a breakthrough in the summer market, despite their frequent links to a number of players.
Here are the latest rumours from St James’s Park:
Norwich ‘line up’ fresh Kristoffer Ajer bid
Norwich City are lining up a £12million bid for Newcastle United target Kristoffer Ajer, according to reports.
The Celtic defender features high on the Magpies’ shortlist but have seemingly been unwilling to keep pace with other clubs.
Bayer Leverkusen and the Canaries have both had bids rejected for the 23-year-old and the latter, as per the Daily Record, are preparing a fresh offer.
Ajer, who is entering the final year of contract, revealed his desire to leave the Glasgow giants in June.
He said: “With one year left of my contract, that would be the best solution for me and my club. Something is going to happen this summer.
"There are of course many rumours. Right now it's just rumours.
"I have one year left on my contract with Celtic and I relate to it, but something will probably happen this summer.
"I have one year left and will be loyal to the club.
"For both me and Celtic to get the best possible starting point, it probably makes sense that it happens this year.”
‘Something like that could stop him joining Newcastle’
Kevin Phillips says it’d be a huge blow for Sunderland if Dion Sanderson joins bitter rivals Newcastle.
Reports last week claimed Bruce’s side had a £1.5million bid for the defender turned down by Wolves.
The Black Cats, where the 21-year-old spent last season on loan at, also failed with an opening offer.
The latest speculation suggests Wolves now want to keep Sanderson, though Phillips admits Newcastle’s interest blows Sunderland out of the water.
He told Football Insider: “It would be a big, big blow to lose him to Newcastle.
“If Newcastle make a concrete move there is not much competition, as much as I hate to say it.
“They are in the Premier League and it is as simple as that. Any young kid wants to play in the Premier League.
“It would take a huge effort from Sunderland to persuade Sanderson to join if Newcastle matched their offer.
“The only guarantee Lee Johnson can give him is that he is going to play week in, week out. Perhaps they could offer him the captain’s armband next season, who knows. Something like that could stop him joining Newcastle.”
Joe Willock update
Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth says Arsenal are open to offers for Joe Willock, though he still may have a future at the Emirates.
He explained: "One more line concerns Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock.
“We think Arsenal are listening to offers for all three players. All of their contracts run out in 2023.
“The one player that might have a future at Arsenal is Joe Willock.
“His performances at Newcastle on loan have given Mikel Arteta food for thought, so he is one that they are thinking about.
“Reiss Nelson and Maitland-Niles, we think, they will listen to offers for, Joe Willock they are thinking about.”