The transfer saga that is agonising for Newcastle United fans before serious talk has even started is Joe Willock, and everyone who watched him during his loan spell on Tyneside knows the Magpies have to sign him permanently – former defender Steve Howey hopes talks have already started.
Willock managed to change the way the Magpies attacked games as his ability and willingness to arrive late into the box allowed Allan Saint-Maximin to release the ball earlier and not have to dribble past as many defenders as he could to cut the ball back.
It has been widely reported that Newcastle are very much interested in bringing Willock back to St James’ Park and a fresh twist has emerged that Steve Bruce could look to offer Freddie Woodman as part of any potential deal for the midfielder.
It would be a huge blow for Bruce if he wasn’t able to bring back Willock who he clearly had a great relationship with, and if there is any chance of a deal getting done before pre-season friendlies begin, talks must already be underway and Howey certainly hopes this is the case – as he exclusively told Football FanCast:
“You would have thought that there’s already been a conversation between the clubs, Arteta and Bruce, to say this is what the fee will be as we want to offload him.”
Willock was reportedly available for £20 million this summer but with seven goals in his last seven appearances for the Magpies, it would be widely expected and acceptable if that fee had increased slightly.
At the end of the season, Mikel Arteta was asked about the future of Willock and he claimed that his future was being sorted and organised to remain at Arsenal but there remains hope on Tyneside that a deal can be done.