Newcastle United look unlikely to sign Joe Willock now, with Ian McGarry claiming Arsenal want to keep the midfielder.
The Englishman is Newcastle’s priority signing this summer.
He excelled on loan last season, scoring eight goals for the Magpies.
But Newcastle don’t have the funds for a permanent transfer.
The club have made an improved offer in terms of a loan fee.
But the Gunners don’t want to lose him having been impressed with his performances on loan.
Speaking on the Transfer Window podcast, McGarry said: “They want to keep Joe Willock,” McGarry said.
“My information is that Newcastle United have made an improved offer in terms of loan fee to take Joe Willock again for a season.
“Arsenal have declined that offer and in doing so informed the player and his agent that he is in Mikel Arteta’s plans having proven himself in the division with Newcastle United.”
Following this information, Willock featured for Arsenal against Chelsea today in a pre-season friendly.
The 21-year-old was a second-half substitute, and actually had a goal ruled out despite replays showing the ball had crossed the line, in scenes reminiscent of those at the 2006 World Cup when Frank Lampard’s goal against Germany was disallowed.
It was a good 20-minute cameo from Willock, which has prompted a flurry of positive comments from Arsenal supporters on social media.
Newcastle must get a move on over alternative
It seems unlikely now that Willock is going to come back to St. James’ Park.
It would be very frustrating if Newcastle have chased for nothing.
But that is a distinct possibility, and the Magpies have got to get to work to secure an alternative.
The Premier League season is now just around the corner, and a goalscoring midfielder is absolutely essential.