Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock admits he will consider permanent Newcastle United transfer as Mikel Arteta talks planned
Joe Willock has hinted to BBC Sport that his long-term future could lie away from Arsenal, with a permanent move to loan side Newcastle United on the cards.
The Gunners product moved to St. James’ Park at the close of the winter transfer window to secure more regular playing time, having cut an outcast figure at the Emirates Stadium.
Mikel Arteta had awarded Willock just seven Premier League appearances of which he started two before moving to the North East, where Steve Bruce has called on the 21-year-old to feature 13 times and start 10 of a possible 15 fixtures.
Willock has excelled with the Magpies and set a new Premier League record on Wednesday night by becoming the youngest player to score in six consecutive appearances, by netting the winning goal at home to Sheffield United.
Newcastle boss Bruce has expressed desires of signing Willock permanently (talkSPORT), and talks between the Toon hierarchy, the midfielder and his agent will begin in the next few weeks, along with discussions with Arsenal and head coach Arteta (Northern Echo).
Willock is not yet sure where his future resides and concedes that those talks must first take place, but has developed a strong relationship with the Newcastle squad and fanbase.
“I’m not sure,” Willock said (19/5, 20:14). “I need to have a conversation and see what the best move for me is.
“I have made friends for life and made a really big connection with the fans. It [staying at Newcastle] is one of my options and I am going to consider it.”
Willock’s comments would hint toward the midfielder strongly considering a permanent move to Newcastle if Arteta cannot offer the assurances he will likely demand over his playing time, having become a regular and crucial part of Bruce’s Toon side.
A deal would likely prove challenging for the Magpies, however, as the Tyneside natives are expected to have a restricted budget this summer (Chronicle) while Arsenal value Willock at around £25million (Mirror).
Another season on loan is potentially viable (Mirror) as it would afford Arsenal the chance to allow Willock to continue developing as a first-team regular, but may feel that now is the time to either sell or bring him back having been so influential over the past few months.
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