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Arsenal will demand at least £25million from Newcastle United this summer in order for the Magpies to secure the permanent signing of Joe Willock, according to reports. The 21-year-old has been given a new lease of life under Steve Bruce and has emerged as an important player for the Tyneside club, who are closing in on Premier League survival with six matches left to play.
Willock was shipped out on loan by the Gunners in January after making just seven top-flight appearances during the first half of the campaign.
Since joining Newcastle on a temporary basis, the young playmaker has thrived with four goals in ten games, displaying a knack for getting the Magpies out of tricky situations.
He was on target once again with a last-gasp equaliser against Liverpool on Saturday afternoon, after Callum Wilson’s goal just moments earlier was ruled out for handball as the former Bournemouth striker bundled in from close range.
Willock appears to have a strong relationship with under-fire boss Bruce, who has showered the Arsenal loanee with praise on a number of occasions.
The 60-year-old confirmed earlier this month that he is keen on securing the services of Willock a permanent basis this summer.
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“He’s a young lad and I’d love to keep him here, and we will have some big conversations with Arsenal,” Bruce told reporters.
It seems as though Newcastle will be forced to shell out a transfer fee close to the £30m mark if they want to stand any chance of tempting Arsenal into parting ways with the England youth international.
A report by football.london has claimed that the Gunners will only consider bids that ‘easily exceed’ £25m if Willock continues to impress up north until the end of the season.
Arsenal are currently dealing with a precarious financial situation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is claimed that a number of summer exits could be on the cards in order to balance the books and provide some much-needed funding to bring in new arrivals.
Mikel Arteta previously claimed that the north London club will be looking to conduct an unprecedented level of summer business ahead of the new campaign.
It remains to be seen whether the Spaniard will cash in on Willock, send him out on loan for another season, or provide him with the chance to earn a first-team spot at the Emirates Stadium.
If Arsenal fail to sign Real Madrid loanee Martin Odegaard, there could potentially be a way back into the side for the Hale End academy graduate with the club’s other creative options somewhat limited.
Arteta claimed that he was pleased to see Willock take up a starring role at Newcastle after the midfielder’s decisive goal against top-four hopefuls West Ham United earlier this month.
“Yeah, I’m really happy with Joe because he scored a massive goal for the club,” Arteta told a press conference.
“So, when he produces big moments like that it’s very satisfying.
“Joe can do it, he’s got the ability and the desire and now he’s having more consistency in terms of minutes and performances and that’s great for his development.
“That’s why we all believed it was the right thing for him to go on loan.”
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