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Transfer Rumours

Newcastle United approach Arsenal to sign Joe Willock – Report

3 weeks ago
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An exclusive from The Times has now reported that Newcastle United have approached Arsenal to sign Joe Willock.

The midfielder having proved a massive success at the back end of last season, scoring eight goals for NUFC despite only 11 Premier League starts and three sub appearances, the 21 year old scoring in each of his final seven games.

Martin Hardy from The Times says that his information is that Steve Bruce has made contact with Arsenal officials to try and do a deal.

Newcastle United are 35 days into the transfer window and just over four weeks away from the new season kicking off, with not a single first team squad signing so far.

The man from The Times saying that conversations have taken place BUT Newcastle United are not making a bid to buy the player.

Instead, the newspaper states that Steve Bruce and Mike Ashley are hoping Arsenal will allow another loan arrangement, this time for a full season.

The Times say their understanding is that the club don’t ‘have the money to make the signing of Willock a permanent one at this stage.’

Whilst it is a positive that Newcastle United are apparently making some effort to bring Joe Willock back to St James Park, surely the reality is though that plenty of other clubs WILL be willing to pay a transfer fee now.

Martin Hardy says that Arsenal are expected to shortly complete the signing of another central midfielder, Anderlecht’s Albert Sambi Lokonga, which could then help Arteta decide they don’t need to keep Joe Willock at the club for the new season.

This is a massive transfer window for Arsenal, owner Stan Kroenke reportedly panicking with consecutive Premier League finishes in eighth place in 2019/20 and 2020/21. The Gunners having never finishing outside the top six in the previous 24 seasons and now in danger of becoming permanent also-rans.

Kroenke now ready to loosen the purse strings and back Mikel Arteta with some ambitious signings, though as well as a significant pot of money made available by the club’s owner, a busy summer will also need to see a fair few players leave the club as well, plus be expected to generate a large top up of funds via transfer fees for those sold.

The likes of Alexandre Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Reiss Nelson are all likely to be sold this summer to help fund the players that Arteta wants to bring in.

Though, I find it all but impossible to think Arsenal would be willing to loan Joe Willock out, if other clubs are willing to pay a big fee now.

Midfielders who score goals are an invaluable commodity and I think for sure Joe Willock will be sold this summer and be playing for another Premier League club next season, as I don’t see him staying at Arsenal.

At least one, probably more, club(s) will be ready to pay the necessary money and take their chance on Joe Willock. With Arsenal thinking his excellent late goal run at Newcastle last season, means his value potentially might never be higher than it is now.

I would think between £20m and £30m would be the going rate for Joe Willock if he is sold this summer and I fear next season we will be watching him bang in 10-15 Premier League goals for Villa, Leeds, or whichever other ambitious Premier League club, whilst we wonder if the Mike Ashley loans, frees and bargain basement buys are enough to keep Newcastle up.

Yes the virus will have impacted on club finances but other club owners will see things longer-term and it not being a sensible proposition to suddenly not be allowing any realistic money at all to be available for new players.

The only plan Mike Ashley appearing to have, is hoping a takeover can be completed before everything totally falls apart. Instead of new signings, all we have seen so far is existing players getting new contracts, some of them really bizarre, such as Dwight Gayle who Steve Bruce refused to play late last season, even when he had no other options to play at centre-forward – preferring to play the likes of ASM and / or Almiron further up the pitch.

Even if Mike Ashley was willing to commit to a loan with a requirement to buy at the end of the season, why would Arsenal not prefer to bank the money now from another club and then be able to use it to offset their new signings?

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