Despite Eddie Howe’s assertion that their “main transaction” has been concluded, Newcastle is allegedly in negotiations with Arsenal over a loan deal for Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Alexander Isak, who Howe just signed for a record fee, will likely play against Liverpool on Tuesday night. The 22-year-old Swedish international moved from Real Sociedad for £58 million on Friday. However, due to the delay in processing his work visa, he watched Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Wolves from the stands.
That scenario kept steady when Howe gave his pre-game press conference on Tuesday morning.
The 44-year-old said when asked if Isak would be available, “We don’t know, we still don’t know, and I still don’t know. I hope so, I desperately hope so. It would be great to see him involved for us, but we’re in the hands still of other people.
We’re hoping against hope that it gets done before the game, but as I sit here, there’s no assurance.
When asked whether there was a deadline, Howe responded, “I believe it is 75 minutes before to kickoff. It could come down to the wire since we don’t know. We’ll watch and wait.
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However, 90mins reports Newcastle officials are reportedly working behind the scenes on a deal for Maitland-Niles as Howe waits for Isak.
The Magpies are looking for protection at right-back, and they have their eye on Maitland-Niles’ versatility.
Emil Krafth will be out of commission for a few months due to an ACL injury. Although Howe stated there will be no significant incoming trades during his news conference today, he still wants some protection.
“We think that the ailments we have are temporary, so there may be some short-term discomfort among the team. In the long run, once those bodies have recovered, we are immensely powerful.
“That doesn’t mean we’re completely cut off, though. Of course, we’re still searching, but I don’t anticipate doing any significant business.
Although Maitland-Niles prefers to play in midfield, Newcastle will have to compete with Southampton and Bournemouth for his services.
He played in midfield when on loan at West Brom in 2020–21, and he also spent the second part of the previous season with Roma in Serie A.
In Serie A, he played a wide range of positions, including right back, left midfield, and right midfield.
Under Mikel Arteta, Maitland-Niles’ future is gloomy. He hasn’t been able to crack the Arsenal roster thus far this season despite the injuries to Thomas Partey, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Reiss Nelson, and now Mohamed Elneny.