Alan Nixon believes Steve Bruce will turn his attentions to the signing of a new centre-back if and when a deal for Joe Willock is completed.
The journalist – who was the first to call deals for Federico Fernandez and Rodrigo Vilca – has also named a former Toon target we could go back in for after Bruce ‘missed out’ on Axel Tuanzebe, who signed for Villa on Sunday.
That man is Rob Holding; the Arsenal centre-back we had agreed to sign on loan last summer until Mikel Arteta pulled the plug on the deal at the 11th hour.
Nixon states ‘you never know’ when it comes to us possibly going back in for the 25-year-old who could now find game time hard to come by following the £50m arrival of Ben White.
Here’s what he’s had to say when speaking to NUFC fans keen for more transfer updates late last night:
Elsewhere, Nixon claims that we aren’t prepared to pay Liverpool’s £15m asking price for Nat Phillips as things stand, with the Reds seemingly intent on selling the 24-year-old now they have Van Dijk, Gomez and Matip fit again.
Back to Holding, it seems unlikely we’d get him this time around based on his game time across the 2020/21 season.
Yes, Ben White has come in, meaning he’s unlikely to be a guaranteed starter over the coming campaign, but Arsenal will need to sign another centre-back to sanction any move for the former Bolton man.
Either way, the benefit of signing Joe Willock on a permanent deal means we would still have TWO domestic loan slots open to use – something that could benefit Bruce hugely given the limited budget he’s been working with.