Arsenal make U-turn and now unwilling to let defender leave

Arsenal have changed their minds on letting Rob Holding leave on loan to Newcastle and are currently unwilling to let the defender depart.

The centre-back had been expected to complete a short-term switch to Newcastle this week, with game time looking set to be very limited at Arsenal this season.

The Gunners have brought in Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba has returned from his loan spell, adding a huge amount of competition to the centre of defence alongside David Luiz, Sokratis Papastathopoulous, Shkodran Mustafi, Calum Chambers, Pablo Mari and with Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac playing on the left of a three-man defence.

Holding looked likely to be sacrificed, at least on loan, but Sky Sports report that Arsenal have now made a U-turn and are unwilling to let him leave.

Newcastle remain interested in the 24-year-old, but the decision ultimately rests with Arsenal.

Mikel Arteta is happy to let Sokratis, Mustafi and Chambers leave this summer and the desire to hold onto Holding may indicate that exits are getting closer for the other centre-backs.

Napoli are keen to bring in Sokratis, while Fulham and Leeds have been linked with Chambers, but finding a buyer for Mustafi may prove more difficult.

Arteta had suggested that Holding was ahead of his rivals as he started the Community Shield alongside Tierney and Luiz at the back and played well in the surprise victory over Liverpool.

That performance may well have kept him at the Emirates for the forthcoming season and could see Newcastle miss out.

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