South London Press claims Charlton Athletic are interested in taking Eddie Nketiah on loan next season as they prepare for life in the Championship.
The Addicks, who gained promotion via the play-offs last month, have had a slightly barmy 24 hours where it looked like manager Lee Bowyer might leave only for the club to confirm a new deal this morning.
He can now turn his attention to strengthening a squad that will likely lose Gunner Krystian Bielik, who impressed at the Valley on loan last season.
Nketiah could probably do with a spell of first team football away from the Emirates and is likely to attract admiring glances from clubs both here and abroad this summer.
The England under-21 international, who scored his first Premier League goal in our win at Burnley on the final day of the season, came very close to joining Bundesliga side Augsburg in January only for Unai Emery to veto the move due to a lack of back-up for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alex Lacazette.
The Gunners appear to be prioritising an attacking wide player – Lorient’s Alexis Claude-Maurice is of particular interest – and 18-year-old Brazilian starlet Gabriel Martinelli is also tipped to bolster our under-23s. That might provide enough wiggle room in the squad to allow Nketiah to develop elsewhere, albeit temporarily.
In a statement confirming structural changes to the coaching set-up, Arsenal reaffirmed their desire to better help Academy graduates get first-team opportunities. You’d imagine that loan manager Ben Knapper’s phone will be ringing a lot this summer, it’s his role to identify and recommend third-party clubs to play their part in our players’ development.