Newcastle are set to miss out on one of their main summer transfer targets, Ryan Fraser, as Arsenal move in.
Stories emerged last month, of a potential swap deal for the Bournemouth winger, with Matt Ritchie returning to the Cherries.
The 25-year-old has had a fantastic season on the South coast, with seven goals and 14 assists to his name.
With only one year left on his contract, Arsenal hope to seal a deal for less than the £30 million he is valued at.
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Whether Newcastle were serious contenders at that price is not known. But it is still a sign of how the dithering over Rafa Benitez’s deal is costing the club.
Players will not wait around for Newcastle
Targets are being approached by clubs, yet the Magpies – as ever – seem to be happy to let opportunity pass them by as they quibble over Rafa’s conditions.
Contrary to Lee Charnley’s apparent approach, players are not going to wait around for them.
As well as Ritchie has played, Fraser represents an upgrade, and any deal would have been a huge boost.
Manchester United were thought to be interested, but they moved for Swansea’s Dan James instead.
Liverpool have also watched the player, but it seems Unai Emery will offer first team assurances to seal a deal.
If Rafa’s interest was genuine, it will be another blow for him, as he still hopes to agree a contract to stay.
It is further proof that the current impasse at St James’ Park must end sooner rather than later.