Mikel Arteta addresses Joe Willock's 'options' amid Newcastle United contract talks
Mikel Arteta has addressed Joe Willock’s situation at Arsenal amid contract talks with Newcastle United.
However, Willock’s representatives are yet to agree personal terms with Newcastle, and Arteta was asked about the midfielder’s situation ahead of Arsenal’s season-opener against Brentford.
“This situation is that he’s our player,” said manager Arteta. “We held some conversations, because it’s not only about what we want to do, there’s the player’s interest, the role that the player can fit within a squad, a club.
“What he’s done has put him in a really strong position where he can choose, with more options, what his future could look like. This is what we’re trying to define right now.”
Asked if he expected 21-year-old Willock to still be an Arsenal player when the transfer window closes at the end of the month, Arteta said: “I don’t know. I’m not going to say that, because you’ll come like you did earlier with a quote from last season. I’d prefer not to answer that.”
Newcastle, yet to sign a player this summer, hope to register Willock – who scored eight goals on loan for them last season – in time for Sunday’s season-opener against West Ham United.
United have made no comment since agreeing a fee with Arsenal for Willock. Speaking last weekend, head coach Steve Bruce said: “We’re pursing our No.1 target (Willock).
"We’re trying as best we can. Let’s hope we can make a breakthrough.”