Steve Bruce has a decision to make on Newcastle United's Freddie Woodman ahead of Joe Willock transfer talks with Arsenal

Arsenal’s longstanding interest in Freddie Woodman could help Newcastle United sign Joe Willock.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 6:00 am

Willock is the club’s No.1 summer target following a successful loan at St James’s Park last season.

Another loan would suit Newcastle, but Arsenal, needing funds for a summer rebuild following a disappointing Premier League campaign, may prefer to sell 21-year-old Willock this summer.

United head coach Steve Bruce is expected to have a limited transfer budget this summer.

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Freddie Woodman playing for Swansea City.

The club, yet to publish its financial results for the year ending June 2020, has lost tens of millions of pounds in revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Bruce will attempt to move a number of fringe players out of St James’s Park this summer to raise funds.

Woodman’s stock has risen during two loans at Swansea City, and the club will have to make a decision on the future of one of England’s brightest goalkeeping prospects.

The 24-year-old, under contract for another two seasons, has spoken about his keenness to return to the Championship club, which was beaten by Brentford in the play-off final.

"I hope this isn't the last game I play in a Swansea shirt,” said Woodman. "The main thing is to sort out my next step. If that's in a Swansea shirt, then brilliant, but if it's not, I have to crack on – and that's football.”

Joe Willock celebrates his goal against Fulham.

Woodman, however, could be drawn into talks between United and Arsenal over Willock.

The Croydon-born player – whose father Andy was Arsenal’s head of goalkeeping until March, when he took over as Bromley manager – has been tracked by the club for some time, and a swap deal has been mooted.

Woodman just wants to play regularly, and he knows that Martin Dubravka will again be Newcastle’s No.1 next season. The club also has Karl Darlow and Mark Gillespie to back Dubravka up.

First-team football is seemingly not an option at Newcastle. Woodman, for his part, is reluctant to predict what will happen this summer.

Speaking to the Gazette last month, Woodman said: “The older I’ve got, I’ve realised you can’t look too far into the future in football. There are so many different things that could happen. It’s totally unpredictable.”

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