Newcastle United have offered a contract to Ainsley Maitland-Niles as they try to hijack his surprise move to Wolves, Football Insider understands.
The versatile Arsenal star, 22, has agreed personal terms with the Midlands giants and is on the verge of a transfer worth up to £20million including add-ons.
A Newcastle source has told Football Insider the club have ambushed Wolves’ deal but face an uphill battle to force a change of heart from the player.
Wolves have agreed a fee with Arsenal for Maitland-Niles and are putting the finishing touches to the transfer.
Newcastle, who completed the signing of Jeff Hendrick on a free transfer on Monday, are willing to match Wolves’ four-year deal.
Maitland-Niles has been made available for sale by Arsenal after they announced the permanent signings of Cedric Soares and Pablo Marí following loan spells.
The Gunners academy product has featured in a variety of positions for Arsenal without fully establishing himself in any of them.
He has been in and out of the side under Mikel Arteta, Unai Emery and Arsene Wenger but accumulated 100 appearances in total.
Maitland-Niles played 32 times for Arsenal last season, including 15 Premier League starts and he also played the full 90 minutes in the 2-1 FA Cup win over Chelsea earlier this month.
The England Under-21 international played that match on the left side of midfield and has also featured regularly for the Gunners at right midfield, wing-back and full-back.
In other Newcastle United news, the club have issued a response after an offer for 29-year-old Magpies star.