Newcastle preparing double Arsenal raid that’ll give Arteta brutal decision to make

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

Newcastle are sizing up a pair of Arsenal stars and a bid for one red-hot forward in particular will give Mikel Arteta an agonising decision to make, per reports.

Recent reports from Calciomercato and Football Insider both concurred a mini-Arsenal clear-out could be on the cards at season’s end.

Three names were mentioned by both outlets – Nuno Tavares, Kieran Tierney and Albert Sambi Lokonga.

Tierney, 25, has relegated to the bench following the summer arrival of Oleksandr Zinchenko. The Ukraine ace has been everything Gunners fans could’ve hoped for and more and Tierney faces an uphill struggle to ever become a regular starter again in north London.

As such Football Insider and more recently the Telegraph have revealed Newcastle could take the Scotland international to St. James’ Park.

A move in the region of £30m was touted by both publications. That would represent a small £5m profit on the £25m fee Arsenal paid Celtic in 2019.

However, per journalist Steve Kay, Tierney might not be the only Arsenal star heading up north.

Lethal frontman to make it a double?

Kay tweeted the Magpies are sizing up Arsenal frontman Folarin Balogun too.

The homegrown striker, 21, is in the midst of a truly remarkable loan spell with French side Reims.

Balogun has notched 15 goals in 25 matches for the club, a tally that places him fourth in Ligue 1’s top scoring charts. For context, his mark of 15 is just three behind Kylian Mbappe (18) and is two ahead of Lionel Messi (13).

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Balogun’s loan spell with Reims will expire at season’s end, at which point Arteta will be faced with a tough call.

Balogun plays exclusively at centre-forward, though Arteta already has the imperious Gabriel Jesus for the position. Eddie Nketiah has also proven himself a worthy back-up during the Brazilian’s injury absence this term.

Selling a thriving homegrown star is always a decision that must be carefully considered, especially for a player like Balogun who is showing signs he can become a genuinely top class striker.

However, if a sizeable bid is received, Arteta may be tempted to cash in. Indeed, if Balogun does not feature in his plans then cashing in in order to re-invest in other positions that require more immediate attention would make sense.

According to Steve Kay, Newcastle could be the ones to give Arteta that decision to make. The journalist tweeted Newcastle are ‘considering a bid’ for Balogun in the summer.

No price tag was stated, though that should not come as a surprise given the remarkable form Balogun is experiencing.

Indeed, a £25m price tag would look foolish if Balogun blasts past the 20-goal mark in one of Europe’s premier leagues, for example. A truer valuation should become clear towards the back end of the season.

Newcastle’s current options up front are Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak. Both are fine players in their own right, though have struggled to stay fit this season.

What’s more, if Newcastle add a European campaign to their fixture list next season, far greater strength in depth across every area in their squad will be required.

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