Rafa Benitez’s newly-promoted Newcastle side are interested in a move to sign Kieran Gibbs as their first-choice left-back this summer, reports suggest.

Kieran Gibbs has been heavily linked with a move away from Arsenal for a few seasons now so this news isn’t much of a surprise. The 27-year-old’s development has stagnated due to a number of troublesome injuries, leading to Nacho Monreal earning a regular starting berth at left-back ahead the Englishman.

A lack of minutes has seen Gibbs drop down in the pecking order, and despite a formation change giving him added opportunities to feature, all points lead to a possible departure this summer as he’ll ideally want first-team assurances at this stage in his career.

Gibbs has been at Arsenal since 2004 in the academy and is currently one of the club’s longest-serving players. To resurrect his fledgling career a permanent move away from the club could be seen as the next step – especially after Sead Kolasinac’s proposed move will be completed at the start of July, making it even harder given the competition for places.

He is among a list of names that Benitez is reportedly eager to sign as he looks to strengthen the squad, preparing Newcastle for a challenging Premier League return in August.

In a Reddit post earlier this week, one of the club’s supporters identified him as a transfer target for others to discuss with plenty of positive feedback received.

Gibbs would be a great signing in my opinion. Players like him, with something to prove, are exactly what we should be going for I reckon. You just have to look at [Isaac] Hayden, who never got near an Arsenal squad but has been brilliant, to see the amount of talent the ‘top’ clubs have in reserve.

I’ve been calling for Gibbs for the past few years, and would be extremely happy with him coming! He was rotting there in the bench!!!