Mikel Arteta issues Joe Willock update as Newcastle United push for transfer decision

Mikel Arteta has spoken about Joe Willock’s future – as Steve Bruce waits for a decision.

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 8:19 am
Joe Willock.

Bruce wants to re-sign Willock – who spent the second half of last season on loan at Newcastle United – in this summer’s transfer window.

The club is yet to make a bid for a player this summer, according to Bruce, as it waits on Arsenal to decide on their “No.1 target”.

Speaking after Friday night’s 2-0 win over Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium, United’s head coach said: “We haven’t made any bids for any player, because Joe’s been our No.1 target.

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"We have to make sure that if that doesn’t happen, we have got who we think is our second choice. We’ll what develops in the next few days.”

Bruce has spoken about Newcastle needing a decision on Willock – who scored eight goals for Newcastle last season as the club pulled away from relegation trouble – from Arsenal by an unspecified “cut-off” point, so the club can pursue other targets if a deal can’t be done.

“Obviously, when we’re ticking towards the start of the season, and towards the end of the window, we’ve obviously got to make a decision,” said Bruce, whose side complete their pre-season campaign with a home fixture against newly-promoted Norwich City this Saturday.

However, Arteta is seemingly in no hurry to make a decision on the 21-year-old midfielder’s future as he prepares his team for the start of the new Premier League season.

Arteta addressed the futures of Willock and Hector Bellerin after yesterday’s 2-1 defeat to London rivals Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal’s head coach said: “I don't know (if they are leaving). I'm going to coach them and train them, and respect and look after everybody, because they are our players.

"Hopefully, they can have their minds here, and prepare here, because they’re Arsenal players, and our job is to make them as good as we can.”

Willock had a goal disallowed against Chelsea, despite the ball crossing the line, as goal-line technology at the Emirates Stadium wasn’t being used for the friendly.

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