Steve Bruce reveals Newcastle United's position on signing Arsenal's Joe Willock following Mikel Arteta's comments
Newcastle United are ready to “test the resolve” of Arsenal to hold on to Joe Willock.
Willock has scored seven goals since arriving on loan in January – and the midfielder is a primary summer target for the club.
Newcastle fans chanted “Joe Willock, we want you to stay” after he netted the club’s winner in Wednesday night’s 1-0 win over Sheffield United at St James’s Park.
"He’s got a contract, and that’s going to be here,” said Arsenal’s manager. “He'll come back to us, we'll have a conversation with him, and plan the next years for him.”
Responding to Arteta’s remarks, United head coach Steve Bruce said: “We always said that it (his form) was a double-edged sword. And we have to respect that he’s Arsenal’s player.
"We’ll see over the summer whether we can test their resolve. He’s been great for us. He’s been great for Newcastle. He’s done well. When I see the names of those who have scored six in six, it’s quite remarkable, so well done to Joe. Let’s see.”
Willock has enjoyed his time on Tyneside, according to Bruce.
Bruce added: “He’s a smashing lad. He’s really enjoyed (being) up here, his father too. He’s absolutely loved it. It’s a double-edged sword, as he’s probably done too well. It would be disappointing if we couldn’t bring him back, of course it would.”