Newcastle United are ready to splash £40 million to secure the services of Liverpool’s Nat Phillips and Arsenal’s Joe Willock.
According to The Sun, Arsenal and Liverpool are set to brace themselves for a Newcastle United raid, in the pursuit of Joe Willock and Nat Phillips. It appears Steve Bruce has been offered a £50 million transfer kitty this summer by club owner Mike Ashley after the former Hull City manager successfully helped the Magpies avoid relegation.
Bruce is now ready to use the fund to further improve his squad, with the majority of it likely to be spent on Willock. The Arsenal youngster has emerged as the top target for Newcastle United this summer, after making quite an impact during his short-term loan stay at the Tyneside, during the second half of the 2020/21 campaign.
Indeed, Willock joined NUFC on loan in January, in search of regular game-time. He ended up becoming one of their best players, scoring on his debut and conjuring up as many as eight goals in just 14 appearances. The youngster is technically on a seven-game scoring run that began in the draw with Spurs in April.
Despite Willock’s excellent performances, though, Arsenal are likely to cash in on him in order to fund move Mikel Arteta’s desired targets. The Gunners have most recently been linked with a switch for Nabil Fekir, who, in turn, could be a potential alternative for former target Emi Buendia, who ended up signing for Aston Villa.
As for Phillips, Newcastle’s interest in the Liverpool defender stems from the uncertain future of the defensive unit. Jamaal Lascelles, in particular, is unsure about his prolonged stay at the club while Fabian Schar’s contract expires at the end of next season.
Bruce, as a result, is hoping to build the core of a new-look defensive unit with the acquisition of Phillips. The young Liverpool centre-back was called upon in the senior squad this past season, following the club’s injury crisis.
The 24-year-old was not among the best players, but he certainly did a decent job of covering for the injured defensive trio of Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez.
Unfortunately for Phillips, though, his future at Anfield remains doubtful, as Liverpool have opted to bring in new players. The Reds have already brought in Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig while they are also involved in the race to sign English international Ben White, along with Arsenal and Manchester United.
It makes Newcastle United an ideal destination for Phillips, as he looks to make himself an established first-team defender in the Premier League next season, perhaps even alongside the talented Willock.