Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has suffered a major transfer blow in the chase for Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock this summer.
Reports in recent days had suggested that the Gunners youngster, who was on loan at St James’ Park for the Premier League season just gone by, is open to making the move to Tyneside.
Now, Football Insider claim that the Magpies may not even have the finances to pull off such a deal.
The report reveals that Bruce has been informed by the club that he will receive a budget of just £10m and that Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is refusing to spend big while takeover talks continue.
It’s added: “The bombshell rules out the possibility of Newcastle signing Joe Willock permanently from Arsenal after his dazzling loan. That is now a non-starter unless United cash in on one of their few stars capable of generating a £20m-plus transfer fee.”
After seeing him score on his Newcastle debut against Southampton earlier in the Premier League campaign, Bruce claimed that Willock has the style of play from which his side could really benefit.
He said: “It was a classic midfield player’s goal from the ability to arrive in the box, and that’s what he’s brought us. He can go box-to-box, he’s a terrific athlete, the kid, a typical modern-day midfield player who has the ability to get up and down the pitch quickly and has that added ability to score a goal.”
And, when you look at the rest of the Newcastle midfield, Willock really does solve a major Bruce nightmare.
The 21-year-old’s eight goals from midfield are far more than what the rest of Newcastle’s midfield options have managed this season, with Jeff Hendrick the next closest with just the two in the league.
It’s exactly why then that news that Bruce will have such a measly budget to work with in this transfer window will surely have fans fuming at Ashley and his reluctance to open up his chequebook to strengthen the squad.
A move for Willock in particular isn’t a typical transfer gamble given what he’s already shown while on loan, and it makes the Newcastle owner’s decision to not at least release the funds to just sign him on a permanent basis incredibly baffling.