Arsenal have reportedly slapped a £20 million valuation on midfielder Joe Willock, who is impressing out on loan at Newcastle United.
According to a report from The Telegraph, Newcastle United are hoping to sign on-loan Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock on a permanent deal at the end of the season, but have been told to shell out a transfer fee of £20 million to do so by the Gunners.
Willock, 21, is a product of the Arsenal youth academy. The central midfielder made his first-team debut for the north London giants way back in 2017, when Arsene Wenger was still in charge of the club. However, he has not quite been able to kick on and establish himself as a regular in the starting lineup.
Still, the Englishman has managed to make 78 senior appearances for Arsenal, scoring 11 goals and setting up four more. However, game-time was hard to come by for Willock this season what with the likes of Thomas Partey, Dani Ceballos, Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny all ahead of him in the pecking order under Mikel Arteta.
Having featured only a handful of times, Willock decided to leave for Newcastle on loan during the January transfer window. At the St. James’ Park, the 21-year-old has thrived, already banging in four goals from 10 appearances, that include two late equalisers against Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool along with a match-winner against West Ham United.
Joe Willock's ? form for @NUFC:
— Premier League (@premierleague) April 24, 2021
These goals have been pivotal in the Magpies distancing themselves from the drop zone of late. And having been left impressed by Willock’s exploits manager Steve Bruce has confirmed that the club are keen on bringing the midfielder in on a permanent basis at the end of the ongoing campaign.
“There are lots of conversations to be had. I think he has thoroughly enjoyed it here and certainly the adulation he received last week after scoring the winner. He has scored three big goals for us since he’s been here. Why wouldn’t I want to sign him?” Bruce said ahead of Newcastle’s game against Liverpool on Saturday.
“We will have to have a conversation with Arsenal first. It’s a bit disrespectful of me to talk about him because he is still their player, but certainly, the move has helped him and it has helped us. If there is something that can be done [to sign him] I would love to do it.”
The report goes on to add that Arsenal would be open to such an arrangement but will demand a transfer fee of around £20 million, which they will look to reinvest in strengthening their own squad amid links with the likes of Yves Bissouma of Brighton & Hove Albion. It now remains to be seen if a deal goes through that will see Willock become a Newcastle United player come next season.