Joe Willock offered as makeweight in deal to take James Maddison to The Emirates
It is 74 days since joe Willock created Premier League history, his goal against Fulham making the 21 year old the youngest ever PL player to score in seven games in a row.
The Newcastle loan player having become a few days earlier, the youngest PL player ever to score in six matches in a row, when getting the only goal of the game against Sheffield United at St James Park.
Since then there has been a lot of talk about Newcastle United and Joe Willock but then on Friday, even though Steve Bruce insisted NUFC had been doing everything humanly possible to bring the midfielder back to Tyneside, in the next breath he admitted not a single bid had been made this summer for any player, not just Joe Willock.
A media update on Tuesday though turned the Joe Willock situation on its head.
Previously, the problems had been seen as twofold – when will Arsenal decide if they will sell Joe Willock or keep him, plus, with so little money allowed to be made available by Mike Ashley – how can Newcastle make a serious offer to buy the goalscoring 21 year old midfielder?
On Tuesday however, The Telegraph update stated / claimed that:
Arsenal are willing to sell and have an asking price of £22m
Newcastle United have agreed at their end to pay that £22m asking price
It is now simply down to Joe Willock whether the move to Tyneside happens
Nothing heard since Tuesday and now we have a new update from the capital, Chris Wheatley is chief Arsenal reporter for football.london and he has now reported that his information is that Joe Willock has now been offered as a makeweight in a move for James Maddison.
Leicester have a £60m valuation for the attacking midfielder but after already spending around £75m so far in this transfer window, Arsenal want to keep the price down as much as possible. This new update saying that the Gunners are also prepared to include any other players who aren’t seen for sure as having long-term Arsenal futures, the likes of Eddie Nketiah, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Reiss Nelson.
So far, Leicester have knocked back the idea of lowering that £60m asking price by including an Arsenal player in the deal and are insisting on cash only.
With everything we are constantly told, it is difficult to know what carries any truth whatsoever. The only facts we know for sure are that we are now at day 58 of the transfer window and Newcastle have yet to sign a single player, plus Steve Bruce keeps telling us that there is next to no money available for signings.
I find it hard to believe that Mike Ashley has sanctioned a £22m offer to be made for Joe Willock, even though pretty much all of Newcastle’s relegation rivals have spent around that amount or more so far in the transfer window, plus at that price you would say it is a bargain in today’s market for a 21 year old English midfielder who has strongly suggested he can score goals on a regular basis in the top tier.
That is how far our hopes and expectations have fallen.
However, even if you do accept Mike Ashley has allowed a £22m offer to now be made, that still doesn’t in any way guarantee he will become a Newcastle player.
If for example a position is reached where Leicester are happy to include Joe Willock in a deal that sees James Maddison joining Arsenal, why on earth would Willock turn down the Foxes to join our car crash of a club under Mike Ashley? Leicester finishing fifth in each of the last two seasons and the current FA Cup holders.
Even taking Leicester out of the equation, I can’t believe that there aren’t other Premier League clubs willing to pay £22m or more for Joe Willock. Very difficult to see many of those likely competitors looking less ambitious than Newcastle at the moment!
Steve Bruce keeps saying Newcastle fans have to be patient in waiting for any signings to happen this summer and journalists close to him are saying similar.
Well, if that’s the case, I can only see NUFC’s entire transfer hopes this summer, for Joe Willock and / or anybody else, resting on nobody else offering to pay the asking price, whether that be for a permanent or loan deal, then Mike Ashley and Newcastle United hoping that there will be clubs left with unwanted players very late in the window, with no other option but to loan them out to the Magpies.
To my mind that is anything but a ‘plan’, it is pure folly and an open invitation to try and get relegated this coming season.
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