Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has delivered Newcastle United a blow ahead of the summer transfer window following the Magpies’ pursuit to secure on-loan midfielder Joe Willock on a permanent deal.
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Willock, 21, joined Newcastle United on a short-term season loan in January.
Since arriving in the North East, the English midfielder has contributed several key goals, including a 95th-minute equaliser against Liverpool last weekend.
Following what can safely be considered a successful loan spell, there were growing suggestions that Steve Bruce may look to turn the 21-year-old’s switch permanent once the summer transfer window opened.
However, when recently asked about the prospect of Willock being recalled to Arteta’s first-team plans next season, the Spanish boss, as quoted by Sheilds Gazzette, said: “He has a chance. He’s a player we really like, so, at the end of the season, he’ll come back here, and then we’ll make the decision again for what is best to move forward.”
Willock still has two years left on his contract with Arsenal and following Arteta’s recent admission, all signs currently point to an Arsenal return.
Whether or not the Magpies can do enough to convince the player to actively push for a move remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, as things currently stand, Newcastle United face losing out on a player who has been a rare shining light in what has been a largely disappointing campaign.