Newcastle United's interest in shock £12m deal played down as Magpies legend discusses Joe Willock's future

Newcastle United are not interested in signing Watford midfielder Will Hughes.

Reports claimed Steve Bruce had opened talks over a £12million move for the 26-year-old and that a swap deal involving Isaac Hayden could be considered.

However, the Gazette understands the Magpies are not in pursuit of the player, who first appeared on the club’s radar when Graham Carr was chief scout.

Hughes’ contract situation at Vicarage Road remains unsolved as it enters the final year. That is despite discussions first taking place at the end of last season.

Watford midfielder Will Hughes is not a transfer target for Newcastle United. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Hayden, under contract until 2026, remains very much a part of Bruce’s plans after missing the remaining nine games of last season with a knee injury.

One midfielder Bruce would definitely love to sign this summer is Joe Willock however Arsenal are yet to make a decision over his future.

Newcastle legend Lee Clark doubts the Gunners will allow the 21-year-old to depart on loan – or on the cheap.

Clark told Tribal Football: “It would be an unbelievable lift for the whole city and the club if they could get Joe Willock to return.

“Willock was an outstanding addition. Most Newcastle fans will have their fingers crossed, praying that the deal could become permanent.

“For a midfield player to score seven goals in his last seven leagues was remarkable.

"By all accounts, he's a terrific lad around the place.

“I wouldn't have thought Arsenal would loan him out again after what he did last season. If they were going to let him go, which I would think would be a strange decision anyway, but if they were, they would be looking for a hefty transfer fee wherever he went.”

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