'Agreement close' - Newcastle United & Chelsea rivals close to shock swap deal involving £100m Arsenal target

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One of Newcastle United’s rivals for a Champions League spot next season are set to lose a key player

Newcastle United’s Premier League rivals Aston Villa are close to completing an agreement with Juventus for the sale of key midfielder Douglas Luiz with Weston McKennie and Samuel Iling-Junior set to move the other way.

The Old Lady will also offer cash as part of the deal to get Luiz to Allianz Stadium. The Brazil international has been the subject of interest from a number of clubs with reports earlier this year claiming Villa put a £100m price tag on his head amid strong interest to Arsenal.

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The Gunners saw three bids rejected for the midfielder in the summer of 2022, highlighting the North London club’s long-term interest in the player. Luiz would then go on to sign a long-term deal at Villa Park to give the club a stronger hand in any future transfer business. Arsenal highest offer two summers ago came in at £25m.

It is claimed Villa still want £50m for the player, along with McKennie and Iling-Junior. Villa reached the Champions League after finishing fourth ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Manchester United and Newcastle last season but need to stay on the right side or profit and sustainability regulations after the club reported a loss of £119.6m in their latest accounts up to 31 May 2023.

A statement on the loss read: "The owners of Aston Villa remain committed to the long-term and sustainable development of the club, and we look forward to continued progress on the delivery of our strategic plan."

Selling Luiz while adding two players would be a big boost to Villa in avoiding further losses in their next set of accounts. They signed the Brazilian for £15m from Manchester City in 2019, with his current contract at the club set to run until 2026.

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Fabrizio Romano reports an agreement between the two clubs over a deal is at the final stages while Juventus are close to agreeing personal terms with Luiz. Villa have also made their own contract offers to McKennie and Iling-Junior. McKennie already has Premier League experience having spent six months on loan at Leeds United during the 2022-23 season. The United States international struggled during his time at Elland Road, however, as the Whites were relegated from the top flight as the American swiftly made his way back to Italy.

He has enjoyed a resurgence with the Serie A club, making 34 league appearances last term with seven assists as Juventus finished third and qualified for the Champions League. They were 23 points adrift of champions Inter Milan, however. McKennie also provided three assists in four Coppa Italia games as Juve won the trophy with a 1-0 victory over Europa League winners Atalanta in May. McKennie was also linked with Everton and Newcastle before discussions began with Villa.

Iling-Junior started his career with the Chelsea academy before joining Juventus’ youth set-up in 2020 at the age of 16. He made 27 appearances in all competitions for Juventus last campaign - scoring one goal and providing two assists - and has played a total of 45 times for the Italian side at senior level.

The summer transfer window for Premier League clubs opens on Friday and will remain open until Friday, August 30 at 11pm. The decision to close the window on August 30 came after talks with the EFL, DFL, Serie A, LaLiga, and LFP over the closing dates for their transfer windows in order to ensure continuity across the major leagues.

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Newcastle watched on last season as Villa clinched a spot in the Champions League, 12 months on from the Magpies achieving the same feat. Eddie Howe’s side are already getting to work on their summer transfer business as they aim to get themselves back amongst Europe’s elite.

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