Newcastle United have reportedly agreed to meet the £25 million price tag slapped by Arsenal on their 21-year-old midfielder Joe Willock.
According to a report from 90 Min, Newcastle United have reached an agreement with Arsenal to bring a box-to-box midfielder which only leaves the players final consent on the transfer move.
Newcastle are ready to complete a permanent move for the 21-year-old, in a deal worth £25 million plus add-ons. That kind of sum represents a significant outlay considering the club have only got a restricted £10 million budget and are now astonishingly splashing twice that amount on a single player.
As per the report, Arsenal were also fine with letting go of Willock on a season-long loan with an option to buy next year, but Newcastle want it to be a straight permanent deal as they want to save their two domestic loans to secure a few more moves late in the window.
The Arsenal academy product played a major part in Newcastle’s bid for survival last season, and his prolific goal-scoring aptitude was vital to drag them out clear of the relegation drop-zone. He netted 8 goals in 14 appearances, scoring 7 in a row, becoming the youngest Premier League player to score in 7 consecutive games, also becoming only the second Newcastle player to achieve the milestone.
Willock played in his favoured box-to-box role at Newcastle and also had a great relationship with Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce, who likes the dynamism and flux about his game. There was promising chemistry between Willock and Allan Saint-Maximin last campaign; fans would relish watching this season again.
There’s still a lot of work to be done for this deal to be completed, with Willock still assessing his situation and options before agreeing on personal terms with the Magpies. Willock is a bit undecided on whether he should stick out at Emirates to fight for his place at his boyhood club or look for newer avenues.
Arsenal have a well-stacked midfield roster. Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has confirmed Granit Xhaka is a big part of his plans. The Gunners have tied Emile Smith-Rowe down to a new long-term contract and also have signed a fresh recruit in the form of Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht.
This will only send Willock further down the pecking order, and the chances of the first-team action are few and far between. There were some other suggestions that Arsenal have offered Willock and Ainsley Maitland-Niles to Leicester as a makeweight to secure the James Maddison deal. However, the Foxes have discarded the swap deal offer as they fancy only to deal in cash.
Willock should carefully take a hard look at his faltering Arsenal career and about his big future with the Toon after such a fantastic second half of the last season in the northeast. One thing is for sure he will be valued more and will become a star at Tyneside if he does move.
It is a match made in heaven, For the past couple of years, Newcastle have been looking for that goal-scoring box-to-box midfielder, and Willock, out of the blue, proved to be one. Willock is a firm fan-favourite, and to the Magpies’ delight, he may be finally heading to North-East but may need a talking or a word from Bruce to sway him to the Geordieland.