Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted he doesn’t know what the future holds for Newcastle United target Joe Willock.
The midfielder is the Magpies’ number one target this summer, after thriving on loan last season.
Willock played 14 times for Newcastle, scoring eight goals.
The 21-year-old has been heavily linked with a move back to St James’ Park, and Steve Bruce has been far from discrete about his side’s interest.
The Toon boss has admitted that he wants to bring Willock back, but is awaiting a decision from Arsenal.
Willock featured in the Gunners’ friendly defeat to Chelsea, coming off the bench for the final 20 minutes.
After the game, Arteta spoke about the future of multiple Arsenal players, including the man Newcastle want.
Mikel Arteta unsure whether Joe Willock will stay or go amid Newcastle interest
“I don’t know. I’m going to coach them [Willock and Hector Bellerin] and train them, and respect and look after everybody because they are our players,” Arteta told Arsenal’s official website.
“Hopefully they can have their minds here and prepare here because they are Arsenal players and our job is to make them as good as we can.”
It feels like a deal for Willock is still nowhere near. That’s a big concern, with the new Premier League season starting in less than two weeks.
Newcastle need to get a definitive answer from Arsenal. If they don’t want to lose him, then we need to know so we can move on and bring in another target.
We have stood still for far too long this season, waiting for others to act. It has already disrupted our summer, and we can’t afford for this saga to go on much longer.
Willock is the player we need, but we can’t wait forever. We can’t be sat on deadline day still hoping he’s going to come back.
Bruce desperately needs a box-to-box midfielder, and Willock is the perfect candidate once again. But there are other options.
Perhaps we need to move on to someone else, putting the pressure on Arsenal to finally make a decision.