Newcastle United will seemingly now really struggle to sign Joe Willock on a permanent deal from Arsenal.
It is common knowledge that the Magpies are keen to land the 21-year-old after his stunning loan spell.
Willock scored eight goals for the club after joining in January.
His contributions ultimately helped the club pull well clear of trouble at the business end of the season.
Fans are deserate to see him return, but Mikel Arteta’s latest comments surely suggests a deal is going to be unlikely.
He said when asked if Willock would be part of his plans for 2021/22 (via Daily Star): “Well, for sure. Because he has a contract and he’s going to be here. That’s for sure.
“I’m really happy that things have gone so well for him because of the potential he has.
“I think it was great for him to go away and have a different experience and he has grabbed that opportunity in a really positive and remarkable way.
“He’ll be back with us, we’ll have those conversations with him and plan the next years for him.”
Newcastle need to look at alternatives
Although things could change, it seems right now that the chance of Willock returning to St. James’ Park are slim.
Especially since Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard have gone back to Real Madrid.
Granit Xhaka is also being linked with an exit, and Lucas Torreira does not seem to be rated by Arteta.
Newcastle, therefore, really need to be looking at alternative options in case there is to be no U-turn from Arteta and the Gunners.