‘Big discussions’ planned as Bruce bids to keep hold of Willock
Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce is planning “big discussions” with Arsenal over the future of loanee Joe Willock.
The 21-year-old has scored three times for United since joining from the Gunners in February and the Magpies boss has been delighted with his contribution.
His winner against West Ham last weekend added to an equaliser against Spurs and debut goal against Southampton.
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The seven points picked up from those three games have brought Premier League safety into view and Bruce has allowed himself to turn one eye to the 2021/22 campaign.
And he is clear he would like England Under-21 international Willock to be part of his plans on a permanent basis.
Bruce, speaking at his Press conference ahead of Liverpool, said: “It was quite refreshing to hear him yesterday talking about going down the coast to see the sea, I don’t think he sees it very often.
“I believe he is enjoying it (here).
“Listen he wants to be in the team, but he’s got three goals for us and two big ones, particularly the one last week.
“You could see he was elated and delighted for the team.
“He’s a young lad. I would love to keep him here.
“Obviously we will have big discussions with Arsenal but he’s young, fit and athletic, He is only 21 and has a big, big future.”
It remains to be seen whether Arsenal are willing to part with the youngster, whose brothers Chris and Matthew are also professional footballers.
Willock has been with the club since he was four years old and signed a contract extension in 2019.
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However, if Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock is to be believed, it would cost the Magpies around £20million to land Willock.
Warnock, speaking to reporters about his summer targets, cited the example of Willock of how difficult it is to prise young talents from Premier League sides.
“The real top ones of the 19 or 20-year-olds, they’re probably going to get higher up than us. I don’t mean that disrespectfully, but clubs in the Premier League will want them.
“Look at Willock at Newcastle – I like him, but he’s probably going to go for about £20m if they get him.”