Newcastle United ready to move on midfield targets, Ex-defender glad Toon missed out on £4m deal

Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce will “see what develops in the next few days” as he continues his pursuit of Joe Willock.

Saturday, 31st July 2021, 11:00 am

The Magpies’ transfer business is effectively on hold until a definitive answer from Arsenal is given on number one target Willock.

Bruce revealed he has “one or two irons in the fire” should Willock not return to St James’s Park in the coming weeks.

The 21-year-old scored eight goals in 14 appearances on loan last season – including a club equalling record of seven in seven.

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Joe Willock on loan at Newcastle United last season. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

“We haven’t made any bids for any player, because Joe’s been our No.1 target,” Bruce said.

“Until we make a cut-off with that, and I have to respect Arsenal, of course, he’s their player … until that bridge is burnt, I will continue to try and get Joe.

"Of course, we’ve got one or two irons in the fire. We have to make sure that if that doesn’t happen, we have got who we think is our second choice. We’ll see what develops in the next few days.

"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. When that decision (will be made), is the patient part. We’ll see how it goes.”

Mario Lemina no loss to Magpies – Steve Howey

Steve Howey believes Newcastle reportedly missing out on the signing of Mario Lemina is no loss to the football club.

The Gabon midfielder, who spent last season on loan at relegated Fulham, had apparently been the subject of £4million interest from the Magpies.

However, instead of continuing his career in England, the 27-year-old opted to join French side Nice from Southampton earlier this month.

“I didn’t think Lemina was a good buy if I’m being brutally honest,” Howey told Transfer Tavern.

“No disrespect, but do you want to buy a player that’s not wanted by a club which you’re supposed to be a little bit better than?

“Listen, he’s very, very talented. But when you’re under the cosh and you need your players to dig in, and every single one of them, there is the accusation that he goes missing.

"I wouldn’t have brought him in.”

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