Arsenal and Chelsea could grant special Alexander Isak request if £115m transfer completed

Newcastle United do not want to lose star striker Alexander Isak this summer despite interest from Arsenal and Chelsea.

"I'm planning for them (Isak and Bruno Guimaraes) to be here. All my planning is with them in the squad," Eddie Howe said in May. "We're looking to build a squad and a really successful team and, to do that, we don't want to sell our best players. That is hugely important for us, it will knock us back some considerable distance because we would have to start again."

Despite Newcastle's wish to keep Isak this summer, that hasn't stopped clubs being linked with the 24-year-old. It emerged on Wednesday that Chelsea have spoken with Newcastle about the former Real Sociedad man, with the Daily Mail reporting they may have to pay more than £115million to bring the striker to Stamford Bridge.

Arsenal, too, have long been linked with Isak with their interest going back a few years when he was impressing in Spain. understands Arsenal are in the market this summer for a dynamic profile of centre-forward and Isak certainly fits that bill, although a centre-midfield signing remains the priority.

Interestingly, if Isak were to move to one of Chelsea or Arsenal, both clubs would be able to grant a special request which the striker may make. The request could be regarding the shirt number Isak is given after sealing a move.

The striker currently wears No.14 at Newcastle but he has previously worn other numbers. At Real Sociedad he donned No.19 while during a loan spell at Dutch side Willem II he wore No.9. Before that, during his spell with Borussia Dortmund, he wore No.14.

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So, it appears that Isak's preferred shirt numbers are 9, 14 and 19. At Chelsea the No.9 shirt is vacant and could be given to Isak on his arrival, while the No.14 shirt is currently occupied by Trevoh Chalobah, although the defender has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge. The same can be said for Armando Broja, who wears the No.19 shirt with the Blues, but he too could depart in the coming months. That means, then, that Broja could pick any one of the three aforementioned shirt numbers should he move to Chelsea.

At Arsenal, Gabriel Jesus has the No.9 shirt and is unlikely to give Isak the chance to wear it during the 2024/25 season. Leandro Trossard is also unlikely to give up the No.19 shirt he wears for the Gunners, either. It is possible Isak dons the No.14 shirt number for Arsenal, however, which is what he currently wears at Newcastle.

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Eddie Nketiah currently occupies No.14 at the Gunners but the Englishman looks a certainty to leave the north Londoners this summer. This would free up the squad number for Isak, should he wish to wear that particular number.

The stumbling block for both Arsenal and Chelsea, however, is the price Newcastle would demand for Isak. It's been reported the Magpies would ask for more than £115million for the striker and it remains to be seen if the London clubs would be able to afford to pay such a figure.