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Newcastle make Willock transfer promise despite Arteta stance on Arsenal exit

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has pledged the club will “keep badgering away” in their attempts to sign Joe Willock from Arsenal.

The midfielder starred in a loan spell during the second half of last season at the Magpies and the club remain hopeful of a return ahead of the new campaign.

Willock netted eight goals in 14 appearances for the North East club and played an instrumental role as the club climbed away from the relegation zone in the closing months of the campaign to finish in mid-table.

Negotiations are understood to be ongoing between the two clubs, but Willock has returned to pre-season training with the Gunners and featured in Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Rangers, as questions still linger on his future.

Joe Willock thrived at Steve Bruce’s Newcastle last season and scored in six successive league games

The goalscoring midfielder wants regular first-team football next season and it is unclear if he will be afforded that by Mikel Arteta.

Despite the player being open to a move to St. James’s Park and the club’s willingness to get a deal over the line, there has not been in any advancement on talks in recent weeks.

Magpies boss Bruce has now admitted that the club must be patient over any deal and insisted that they will keep plugging away in their attempts to secure a signing this summer.

Bruce told reporters on Sunday: “As I’ve said, it’s really Arsenal’s decision.

“And until Arsenal make a decision, a bit like all the big clubs, they have a look over pre-season, we’ll keep monitoring and badgering away.

“We’d love to do something but it’s still Arsenal’s call.”

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It is unclear if Joe Willock will play for Arsenal or Newcastle next season
It is unclear if Joe Willock will play for Arsenal or Newcastle next season

The latest update from the North London club indicate that a deal may be far from straightforward with Arteta indicating that they will want to keep him for the next campaign.

Arteta has said: “Joe is part of our plans, he’s our player and in the time that he is here we will try to make the most out of him.”

“He had a great experience on loan. He was, I think one of the most important players for their survival.”

The 21-year-old has made 78 first-team appearances for the Gunners over the cross four seasons in which he has scored 11 goals.

He scored five goals in the 2019/20 campaign – including his first Premier League goal in a 2-0 victory over Southampton – and netted three times in 17 appearances for the club in the first half of last campaign.

That was preceded by a move to the Magpies where he truly hit top form in an attack-minded midfield role – timing late runs into the penalty area and causing havoc for opposition defences.

He scored in six successive Premier League appearances – a league record as he did so at the age of 21 years and 272 days.

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