According to a Thursday afternoon ‘exclusive’ from The Telegraph, Newcastle are now putting together a bid to turn Joe Willock’s loan spell at St James’ Park into a permanent move.
Luke Edwards’ piece states that the club are ‘increasingly confident’ he will leave the Gunners this summer, with their sources indicating that Arsenal WILL cash in on the 21-year-old to fund a move for Real Madrid loanee Martin Odegaard.
That said, it seems the potential move is anything but straightforward – despite the fact he’s our top summer target and eager to re-sign.
The Telegraph state that Arsenal may be reluctant to sell him early in the transfer window – suggesting they may wait to see if a bidding war begins – and are yet to decide on their asking price after his stunning goalscoring form has seen his stock rise considerably.
The third potential issue is that Bruce’s current transfer budget is believed to be ‘almost non-existent’ – meaning Mike Ashley will either need to pay for the deal himself via another interest-free loan or get MD Lee Charnley to ‘borrow from the bank.’
The Telegraph suggest that his price tag was likely to be around £20m, however it remains to be seen if that will now increase – and I suspect it will now he’s a Premier League record holder and emerging England talent who has just bagged seven goals n 13 appearances this season!
The piece also states that any move could be accelerated if Willock himself pushes to get it done quickly, however it seems things could drag on if the player himself doesn’t intervene. Saying that, I wouldn’t be surprised if he asks his camp to make it happen if he really is ready to sign.
So, the player seems keen, Arsenal are ready to sell and Bruce is desperate to make his loan move a permanent deal, but will Mike Ashley step in to make sure we A) have the money to match their asking price and B) act fast to avoid other clubs hijacking any deal.
Considering this signing would also help convince Allan Saint-Maximin to stay at the club – something Edwards makes reference to in the piece – this feels like a no-brainer for Newcastle United and a deal we should push to complete ASAP.