Monaco are lining up a move for Arsenal midfielder and Newcastle target Joe Willock, according to reports in France.
The player enjoyed a great spell on loan with Newcastle last season, notching eight goals in 14 matches.
Magpies boss Steve Bruce is desperate to sign him again ready for the upcoming campaign, but they will face competition for his services.
French outlet RMC Sport claims that Monaco are interested in taking Willock to Ligue 1 this summer.
Niko Kovac’s side are looking for midfield reinforcements after finishing third in the league last term.
They’ve become frustrated in their pursuit of Lyon’s Jean Lucas and have therefore turned their attention to the 21-year-old Englishman.
Monaco are attracted by Willock’s versatility. He can operate as a typical box-to-box midfielder, or as a more attacking-minded player.
His goal return from the 2020/21 campaign also makes him an attractive signing.
The news means Newcastle might have to act fast to keep him in England.
While Mikel Arteta wants to keep the player in London, recent reports have suggested the Gunners could sell him to Newcastle for £20million.
That would help them to fund their move for Ben White, which is close to being announced after the England man signed a five-year deal.
Bruce was asked about Willock’s situation last week.
The manager said: “With Arsenal, what are they going to do? They’ve brought in two midfield players.
“That’s our starting point, with Joe, because let’s be fair, he had an unbelievable three or four months with us.
“But there has to be a time where we know – is it going to be yes or no?
“There has to come a time when there’s a cut-off, and we have to find out what’s happening.
“We’re still trying our utmost, whether it’s on loan or to buy him. We’re still trying.”
Signing Willock in the summer window would be a major statement from the club.
His goals towards the end of the season propelled them to a 12th-placed finish, after spending parts of the campaign near the relegation zone.
The Magpies are also targeting Manchester United centre-back Axel Tuanzebe.
They have leapfrogged Aston Villa in the race to sign him after opening initial discussions with the Red Devils.
Tuanzebe is available for a loan spell due to the arrival of Raphael Varane at Old Trafford.