EXCLUSIVE: Arteta in Rob Holding U-turn as race heats up for Chambers

Rob Holding, Calum Chambers

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has changed his mind and has decided to let central defender Rob Holding battle for a first-team place at the Emirates.

Holding, 24, started just half-a-dozen games last season and it was reported that Arteta was willing to sanction a loan move away.

After making him available, Arsenal were inundated with offers. The likes of Leeds, Fulham, Aston Villa, West Ham and Newcastle all agreed terms.

However, Steve Bruce’s Newcastle believed they’d secured his signature and strong reports last month stated a deal was close.

Holding, though, was not ready to commit and held further talks with Arteta to try and prove his worth.

Now we can reveal Holding has been told he will be given a chance to compete for a starting spot with Arsenal. And the former Bolton man – who believes he could push for a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad – looks set to stay with the Gunners.

Leeds, one of the clubs in for Holding, had turned their attention to Calum Chambers. The player is well known to their director of football Victor Orta, who brought him to Middlesbrough.

Arsenal are looking to fund their move for Houssem Aouar and reports on Thursday suggest a deal for the Lyon star is close.


Chambers is a player Arsenal are very definitely looking to move on, though Leeds are not the only side keen on the defender. We can reveal they face real competition for the three-times capped England defender. Fulham, West Ham and Newcastle are amongst a number of clubs joining the battle for him.

Arsenal have made it clear to Chambers he does not figure in their plans and can move on. As such they have put a price of around £12m on his head.



Meanwhile, Sead Kolasinac is chasing a return to Germany and Bayer Leverkusen are reportedly leading the hunt.

Sky Germany have reported that Kolasinac wants to return to Germany for family reasons.

The full-back was an unused substitute in Arsenal’s Premier League opening-weekend victory over Fulham. Ainsley Maitland-Niles started at left-wing-back while Kieran Tierney was utilised on the left of a three-man defence.

Arteta also has youngster Bukayo Saka and is willing to let the 27-year-old leave the Emirates.

The Bosnian defender, who was a free-transfer from Schalke in 2017, has made 105 appearances for Arsenal. But he is entering the last two years of his contract. With little prospect of first-team football he looks destined to move on.

Leverkusen, Roma and Schalke, according to Sport BILD are all interested. Read more…