Newcastle United journalist John Gibson has provided an update on the club’s pursuit of Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock.
Despite making their intentions clear on Willock at the end of last season, there has yet to be any serious movement when it comes to the 21-year-old midfielder making a move to Tyneside.
Steve Bruce has publicly claimed that he is still the club’s ‘number-one target’, while a recent report in The Telegraph has claimed that “while Newcastle’s transfer budget is small, they want him so badly that they will pay the £22m asking price for Willock”.
Speaking about the potential transfer on NUFC Matters, Gibson hinted that the transfer did look as if it was going to happen eventually, and that Newcastle United might look to manage the deal a little bit more favourably when it came to the finances of it:
“I have heard, the thing repeatedly said to me, that really, [Mikel] Arteta has now made his personal decision on Willock – it is that he believes he’s expendable to what he wants at Arsenal and therefore he is willing to let him go.
“Now, he could go in two ways. He could either go as a direct sell, which to Newcastle, would be anything between £22m and £25m, or he could go as a loan for this season, if Newcastle guarantee to buy him for that sort of money at the end of this season, to give them a breathing space financially.”
TIF Thoughts on John Gibson’s comments about Joe Willock and Newcastle United…
Can Newcastle survive without Willock?
Given the reported size of the club’s transfer budget, it would make sense for Newcastle United to try and put things off for next year if it means that they could potentially bring in Willock and somebody else on top of him during this summer’s window.
Because whilst Willock would clearly be an important player for them if he could recreate his form from last season, there are still other areas in the team that arguably need to be improved, so a loan-to-buy deal would mean they could focus the money they would have spent on Willock on another player.
So it certainly should be an option for them to explore, because they are going to need all the help that they can get if they are to avoid being dragged into another relegation battle.