Aston Villa confirm major decision on Newcastle United and Arsenal transfer target

The Magpies are one of several clubs believed to be monitoring the highly-rated youngster.

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard has confirmed reported Newcastle United target Carney Chukwuemeka has been left out of his side’s trip to Australia.

Villa will face Premier League rivals Leeds United and Manchester United either side of a meeting with Brisbane Roar as they step up their preparations for the new Premier League season.

Gerrard and his squad are currently down under preparing for the trio of fixtures - but promising youngster Chukwuemeka has been left at home as talks over a new contract continue.

The England Under-19 international midfielder has just one year left on his current deal at Villa Park and his undoubted promise has attracted interest from the likes of Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund.

Newcastle and Arsenal are both said to be monitoring the situation and they will have watched on with interest as Gerrard revealed his reasons behind leaving the youngster at home.

Confirming a number of absentees from the tour, the Villa boss said: “Kortney Hause has missed the tour to recover from injury. Anwar el Ghazi stayed in the UK as his partner was due to give birth.

“The other one is Carney Chukwuemeka. Carney’s yet to sign a contract offer that’s been in place for some time now, so I’ve decided that the best thing for him would be to continue his training programme back at Bodymoor.”

Newcastle will face serious competition for the 18-year-old, who made 14 appearances for Villa’s first-team last season and scored in England Under-19s’ European Championship Final win over Israel last month.

However, Villa are said to be determined to hold on to their prize asset and are determined to continue with talks over a new deal.

Speaking in the aftermath of last season, Gerrard said: “He's hopefully going to be a big player for Aston Villa. We want him to stay here long-term.

“We believe it's the right place for Carney and, again, myself and the staff have shown huge trust putting an 18-year-old in but we wouldn't do it if we didn't think he was ready, or have the ability not to cope.”