By Wayne Veysey

18th Jan, 2020 | 8:00am

Exclusive: Newcastle offer contract to Arsenal rising star

Newcastle United have offered a contract to young Arsenal forward Alfie Matthews, Football Insider has learned.

The north-east giants are keen on prising the highly regarded 18-year-old from Emirates Stadium this month ahead of his contract expiring in the summer.

A Newcastle source has told Football Insider that the club have made an offer to Matthews and are hopeful it will be accepted as they look to get a deal agreed imminently.

This comes after Football Insider broke the news earlier this week that United had opened talks with Arsenal over a potential deal for the rising star.

Matthews is on a two-year scholarship deal at the London giants that runs until the end of the campaign.

With his future at Arsenal shrouded in doubt, Newcastle have made a move to try and take advantage of his potential availability.

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Matthews has been a regular for their Under-18s this season and is regarded as one of the best players at the club in his age group.

The versatile forward, who can spearhead the attack or play in any of the three main roles behind the front man, has scored twice in seven starts among 10 appearances for Under-18s this season.

The teenager was also named on the bench for the Under-23s in a Premier League 2 match earlier in the campaign.

Newcastle’s pursuit of Matthews comes at a time when they are pursuing multiple potential signings in the final two weeks of the window.

In other Newcastle United news, Kevin Phillips has ripped into the club over their handling of contract talks in this Football Insider EXCLUSIVE.