Newcastle fail with Lingard loan bid as Aubameyang gets Saudi offer

Manchester United have rejected an approach from Newcastle United to take Jesse Lingard on loan. The 29-year-old has six months left on his contract and Eddie Howe is keen to make the forward his third signing as Newcastle’s manager.

Whether Newcastle make another attempt to agree a deal remains to be seen. Ralf Rangnick has stated that United’s squad is too big and the interim manager said he would not try to stop any player who wants to leave from departing.

Lingard has made 14 appearances this season, with only one start. He had a successful spell on loan at West Ham in the second half of last season.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been offered a route out of his Arsenal exile by the Saudi club Al-Nassr, who have bid to take him on loan for the rest of the season.

The former club captain is back in London for tests after Gabon released him from their Africa Cup of Nations squad, apparently because of issues with his recovery from Covid-19. Once seen as Arsenal’s talisman, he has not played for them since 6 December after repeated disciplinary breaches led to Mikel Arteta dropping him and stripping him of the captaincy. A quick parting of ways could be convenient for all parties.

Al-Nassr’s offer is believed to contain the potential for a permanent move this summer. Although they have the resources to put forward a credible package, the 32-year-old’s appetite to operate in the relatively obscure Saudi league is unknown. Arsenal are yet to respond to their bid and may be tempted to decide on his future later in the window.

Asked on Wednesday about Aubameyang’s immediate prospects, including any return to the Gabon fold for the Afcon knockouts in Cameroon, Arteta said: “He contracted Covid and then the national team decided to bring him back here and this is where we are. Let’s go step by step and do the right examinations and make sure the player’s health is in the best possible condition, and then we’ll see what happens.”

Watford have reached an agreement with Bordeaux to sign the Nigerian winger Samuel Kalu for €500,000 (£416,000) plus add-ons. The 24-year-old, who has played for his country but is not at Afcon, was with Gent before joining Bordeaux in 2018.

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