Arsenal’s reasons for sanctioning Willock transfer with Newcastle deal ‘agreed’

Arsenal have opted to cash in on Joe Willock, with Newcastle United set to land Steve Bruce’s top target of the summer window for a fee in excess of £20m

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Newcastle United are closing in on a deal to sign Joe Willock on a permanent transfer, after agreeing a fee with Arsenal.

Willock enjoyed a hugely impressive loan spell on Tyneside, scoring eight times in the second half of last season.

His run of scoring in seven consecutive games to the end the campaign, saw him become the youngest player to ever achieve the feat.

Steve Bruce understandably made him the Magpies’ top transfer target, with negotiations between the two clubs going back and forth all summer.

Bruce appeared to be growing frustrated over the protracted saga, suggesting that they could step away if a deal couldn’t be agreed upon.

Arsenal are prepared to cash in on Joe Willock, despite his stunning Newcastle form


Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

“With Arsenal, what are they going to do? They’ve brought in two midfield players,” said Bruce earlier this week.

“That’s our starting point, with Joe, because let’s be fair, he had an unbelievable three or four months with us. But there has to be a time where we know – is it going to be yes or no?

“We’re only allowed two domestic loans, and we’re only allowed one from each club. So, there has to come a time when there’s a cut-off, and we have to find out what’s happening.

“We’re still trying our utmost, whether it’s on loan or to buy him. We’re still trying.”

However, that hurry-up tactic looks to have paid dividends with the Athletic reporting that a deal in excess of £20million has been okayed by Gunners bosses.

The report suggests that Arsenal feel that kind of money is too good to turn down for someone they consider as a squad player.

Steve Bruce earmarked Willock as his top target


Pool via REUTERS)

Mikel Arteta had drafted the 21-year-old back into his squad for pre-season training, but there was still a feeling that opportunities could be scarce for him at the Emirates.

Willock was able to play as one two No 8s for Newcastle last season, whilst Arsenal opt to play with a No 10 instead.

Arsenal are in need of outgoings in order to fund their own ambitious transfer plans for the remainder of the window.

They have already spent more than £75m this summer, bringing in Nuno Tavares, Albert Sambi Lokonga and club-record signing Ben White.

Arteta and technical director Edu would like to bring in further reinforcements before the end of the month, with a new ‘keeper, an attacking midfielder and a striker all on the agenda.

Willock was an absentee when Arteta named his squad for the club’s final warm-up game of the summer against Tottenham.

The Gunners struggled in the final third however, losing 1-0 to Tottenham thanks to a late Son Heung-min strike.

Arteta’s side begin their Premier League season on Friday night, when they travel to newly promoted Brentford on Friday night.

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