Arsenal star performs U-turn to give Newcastle free shot at spectacular £30m raid

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta flanked by Emile Smith Rowe, Ben White, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Kieran Tierney

A red-hot Arsenal star has rowed back previous comments he made about potentially leaving the club in a move that could spell the end for a £30m player wanted by Newcastle, per reports.

Both the Gunners and Magpies are in the midst of outstanding seasons. Arsenal top the table and appear to have overcome a minor blip that brought Man City back into the title race.

Newcastle, meanwhile, look certainties to bring European football back to St. James’ Park in some form or fashion next season. More importantly for the trophy-starved fanbase will be the EFL Cup final against Man Utd on Sunday.

Newcastle have quickly established themselves among the big hitters in England following their Saudi-led takeover. As such, few should be surprised to see Eddie Howe’s side linked with plucking some of the finest stars their top four rivals have to offer.

That’s exactly what happened last week when Football Insider touted a raid on Arsenal for Kieran Tierney.

The 25-year-old Scotland international has fallen behind Oleksandr Zinchenko in the pecking order this term. Even worse for the marauding left-back is the red-hot form of Arsenal loanee, Nuno Tavares.

The Portuguese was an £8m signing from Benfica back in the summer of 2021. His first season in north London suggested he was still very raw and a loan to Marseille for the current campaign resulted.

However, speaking soon after the deal was signed off, Tavares admitted he hoped Arsenal would have let Marseille include an option to buy. Clearly, he was unsure whether he had a future at the Emirates at that time.

“At Arsenal, I do not know if it was a problem of competition with Kieran Tierney, but for me that’s not even the point,” Tavares told RMC Sport in September (via talkSPORT).

“I came to Marseille to finally be able to play in my position. When signing with Marseille, I wanted to have an option to buy, but Arsenal refused. With my agents, we always wanted this purchase option, but Arsenal didn’t.

“Now I’m at Marseille, and with or without an option, I’m happy. At Arsenal, I would have probably only played in the cup.”

Tavares hot streak prompts Arsenal U-turn

Since arriving in France, Tavaraes has been nothing short of sensational. He primarily plays in a more advanced left wing-back role, though even so his return or six league goals is incredible.

Now, in quotes carried by Goal, Tavares has performed a U-turn on his previous desire to leave Arsenal for good.

The 23-year-old stressed he’ll very much be back in the fold at Arsenal over the summer and his return could be the catalyst that prompts Arsenal to cash in on Tierney.

“Everyone knows that I still have two years left with Arsenal on my contract,” said Tavares.

“We’ll finish the season. I’m here until the end of the season to reach our objectives with Marseille. I can’t tell you much more.”

Tavares added that he “feels good” in Marseille and has a strong relationship with his teammates. However, he also insisted he won’t be remaining in Marseille for the long haul.

“At the end of the season, I will return to Arsenal,” he continued. “I can’t say much more.”

Fabrizio Romano recently weighed in on the Tierney exit speculation, claiming a decision will be made at season’s end.

Romano also reported a major factor in whether Tierney is moved on will indeed be Nuno Tavares.

FI previously reported Tierney is valued around the £30m mark. He was signed from Celtic for £25m back in 2019.

Eddie Howe’s current options in the position are Dan Burn and Matt Targett. Tierney would be a sizeable upgrade on both, especially from an attacking perspective. He’d also bring plentiful European experience.

READ MORE: Arsenal, Tottenham and Man Utd eye major summer bargain for three-time Champions League winner