Monday, December 4, 2023

Newcastle United battle Arsenal for Serie A flop

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Newcastle United are reportedly ready to go head-to-head with fellow Premier League rivals Arsenal in the chase for USMNT star Weston McKennie.

According to CBS SportsGolazo journalist Ben Jacobs, Newcastle United are among a host of Premier League clubs considering an approach for Juventus flop Weston McKennie next summer. The Tyneside-based outfit could battle Arsenal for the signature of the 24-year-old box-to-box midfielder, who is set to leave Juventus in January.

The 24-year-old has largely flattered to deceive during his tenure at the Allianz Stadium since arriving from Schalke in 2020 in a roughly £18.5 million deal. He enjoyed a decent run in the first team under former Juve boss Andrea Pirlo during the 2020/21 campaign, prompting the Bianconeri to activate the permanent buy clause.

However, the American hasn’t been able to maintain a good level of consistency and has been in and out of the team under Massimiliano Allegri. The Old Lady have plenty of options in the centre of midfield and are clearly struggling to find the right formula, one of the big reasons behind their poor start to the current season.

Anyways, McKennie has managed to force his way into Allegri’s thinking of late, making 14 appearances across all competitions this season and even impressing in their latest 4-0 morale-boosting victory over Empoli. However, that has done little to change Juve hierarchy’s stance on offloading the 24-year-old to fund their future transfer plans.

The Bianconeri have set their sights on Atletico Madrid flop Rodrigo De Paul, while they are also planning to convert Leandro Paredes’ loan stay into a permanent one next summer.

Thus, Juve may need to offload players who are surplus to requirements, and McKennie could be the one facing the chop, with the Serie A outfit demanding around €20 million to part ways with their prized asset in the January transfer window, according to a recent report on Tuttojuve.

While the USMNT star is currently enjoying a good run in the side, however, once Paul Pogba returns from injury, the 24-year-old could find himself back on the bench.

There is no shortage of interest in McKennie either, with Newcastle, Leeds, Everton, and Arsenal having all scouted him in recent months, while Tottenham have a long-standing interest in bringing the former Schalke prodigy to the Premier League.

Arsenal had been linked with McKennie in the past, and the interest seems to have been reignited as Mikel Arteta looks to bolster his midfield ranks even further. A straight swap involving Arsenal outcast Albert Sambi-Lokonga and McKennie has been mooted in recent days, but only time will tell whether it holds any truth.

Newcastle United have also been credited with an interest in McKennie. However, the Magpies are well-stocked in the midfield department, with Jonjo Shelvey’s imminent return from injury only likely to increase competition for places.

It’s difficult to see McKennie fitting into Eddie Howe’s current system since they already have box-to-box presences in Joe Willock and Sean Longstaff, who have impressed this season. If the Magpies need anything, it’s a solid defensive midfielder to free up the workload on star playmaker Bruno Guimaraes to operate freely in advanced areas.


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