Reported Newcastle target William Saliba has officially joined Marseille on loan from Arsenal.
But that’s fine. It is a transfer miss that looks set to actually benefit the Magpies.
The Daily Mail reported in June that Newcastle were interested in signing the French defender on loan as an alternative to Kristoffer Ajer.
Things seemed to be going well, especially with Arsenal launching a £50million bid to sign another centre-back in Ben White.
However, then it emerged that Saliba was heading to France instead.
It’s a blow to Steve Bruce’s defensive plans, with the Toon boss keen to add a new centre-back to his squad.
However, it’s a decision that should benefit us in the long-run.
William Saliba snub should allow Joe Willock to return to Newcastle
While Newcastle have failed to sign one Arsenal youngster on loan, they might be able to complete a deal for another.
According to the Telegraph, the Magpies are confident that they are close to completing a season-long loan deal for Joe Willock.
The midfielder spent the second half of last season at St James’ Park, scoring eight goals in 14 appearances.
It is very clear that we need him back. However, finances look like they will stop a permanent move.
Until the takeover saga is resolved, Mike Ashley is reportedly unwilling to sanction any major transfers.
Loan move for Willock is the best we can hope for right now
In an ideal world, we would sign Willock permanently. However, with the current state of the club, that isn’t possible.
While it is frustrating, why would Ashley invest £20million in something he doesn’t expect to own for much longer?
But Newcastle need Willock, and they need him now.
Whoever the owner is, Willock should be a priority. That’s why a loan deal right now suits all parties.
Arsenal clearly have no use for him. If he comes to Newcastle and they remain owned by Ashley, he will have to find a way of financing a deal. If he comes to Newcastle and there’s a change of ownership, money shouldn’t be an issue.
Hopefully there will be an option to buy in any loan deal for Willock. That should save us a lot of bother next summer, if he does return.
It’s a good job we haven’t been able to complete a loan deal for Saliba, otherwise we wouldn’t have the option to bring back Willock temporarily.
Missing out on the £27million man might be disappointing, but it will be worth it to hear Willock say ‘come on you Maggies’ once again.