Newcastle United ‘still hopeful’ of signing Joe Willock – Report
Sunday brought widespread confirmation / reporting, that after Arsenal and Newcastle United had agreed a transfer fee (£22m initial fee and £25m including add-ons) for Joe Willock, with all that was now needed, for the player himself to agree personal terms with Newcastle.
Three days on and no completion of the deal, indeed no visible public signs of any progress, then with no mention whatsoever of any medical taking place which is almost always leaked – suggesting no official announcement is imminent.
No wonder Newcastle United fans are left worried and wondering if the Joe Willock deal is indeed going to go ahead, especially when the best player in the world makes his move to PSG smoothly in the meantime.
An interesting update now on Wednesday morning…
Chris Waugh of The Athletic on chances of Joe Willock signing for Newcastle United – Wednesday 11 August 2021:
“To update on this, following subsequent info, some issues were ironed out but talks are still ongoing between Willock’s representatives and Newcastle United.
“Newcastle United are still hopeful.
“Bruce is as keen to re-sign Willock as he has been all summer.”
So, the only thing that can seemingly prevent any move to Newcastle United happening now, is if Joe Willock himself decides against it at this late stage. Whether that is staying at Arsenal or if some other club comes in and convinces the midfielder they offer a better option.
Interesting to look back eight days ago, when The Telegraph reported (see below) that Arsenal had set an initial transfer fee of £22m and Newcastle had agreed to meet this valuation. With the only thing needed…Joe Willock accepting he had to move away from his boyhood club and want to make it a permanent transfer to Newcastle this time…
Luke Edwards writing in The Telegraph – 3 August 2021:
‘A move to Newcastle United is there for him [Joe Willock] to complete if he wants it. The clubs are happy to make the deal happen but Willock is yet to give a final answer and the Magpies cannot keep waiting.’
‘Newcastle will make the most of his talent, their attacking game designed to bring out the best in him under a manager, Steve Bruce…’
‘There is a growing sense that Willock is having second thoughts about making a permanent move to the North East after his successful loan spell. Willock believes he is good enough to play for Arsenal and it is hard to give up on a boyhood dream but his career was stagnating in London before he went out on loan.’
‘Telegraph Sport understands that, while Newcastle’s transfer budget is small, they want him so badly that they will pay the £22m asking price for Willock. It is a massive show of faith and someone needs to tell him it is better to play for a club like that than one who is not really bothered if you stay or leave. Arteta’s attitude towards Willock is ambivalent at best.’
‘Ultimately Willock is in danger of falling into a trap, refusing to accept that Arsenal do not really want him anymore. It is easier to stay where he is but he is far more likely to stagnate if he does.’
So what can it all mean, why are ‘personal terms’ dragging on so long?
A lot of Newcastle fans wondering why wages are such a problem but I think that is a real red herring.
Personal terms aren’t necessarily all about wages and whilst I absolutely don’t have any belief in Mike Ashley’s running of NUFC, I don’t in any way think that the level of wages is what could be holding this deal up.
I think it is far more likely that Joe Willock wants to be assured that there is ambition at Newcastle United, potentially wanting guarantees of more players to be signed this summer so NUFC can be more competitive.
The midfielder could also be insisting on a release clause so that he doesn’t end up trapped at a Mike Ashley club going nowhere, able to leave at any time if he isn’t happy with how it is going.
Plus of course there is potentially the most worrying scenario, that one or more other clubs have made their own approaches and are making Joe Willock question why Newcastle would be the right move.
It seems quite bizarre to imagine that other clubs haven’t made approaches to Arsenal / Joe Willock, when you have a 21 year old English midfielder who in those final seven appearances of last season, suggested he could be a Premier League goal machine in the making.
As Newcastle United fans, as always, we wait. Hoping for the best but fearing the worst.
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