Arsenal make Rob Holding transfer U-turn with Newcastle loan close 'before Arteta had second thoughts and pulled plug'

ARSENAL made a dramatic U-turn on Rob Holding's loan to Newcastle, according to reports.

It is understood the defender, 24, was close to sealing a loan switch to St James' Park for the season.

But according to The Athletic, Arsenal have backed away from making a decision just yet.

And the Daily Mail add that Mikel Arteta has had second thoughts about letting Holding go.

The Englishman looked set to be surplus to requirements at the Emirates this season with a temporary switch to Newcastle expected to be completed.

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The likes of Pablo Mari, William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes joined – or rejoined – the Arsenal squad.

That took Arteta's list of centre-backs to eight with David Luiz, Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis and Calum Chambers.

Kieran Tierney can also play in a back three while Konstantinos Mavropanos is already out on loan with Stuttgart.

But Mustafi's injury in the FA Cup semi-final meant Holding came in for the final against Chelsea.

And his performance at Wembley – backed up by another display at the national stadium in the Community Shield – helped the Gunners to back-to-back trophies.

Now Holding may well have forced himself into contention to play an important role under Arteta this season.

Mustafi will miss the beginning of the campaign due to that hamstring tear.

So following his fine form, the former Bolton man could get the nod to start in the Premier League curtain-raiser on Saturday.

The Gunners kick-off the new campaign with a trip across London to newly-promoted Fulham for the the lunchtime clash.

For Newcastle, however, the hunt for another central defender continues.

Steve Bruce's side have had an excellent week in the transfer window with Bournemouth pair Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson signing – plus Norwich full-back Jamal Lewis is set to follow suit.

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