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Arteta drops huge midfielder clue as Arsenal readying Newcastle switch

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has dropped a massive hint that midfielder Joe Willock will be sold to Newcastle United during the summer transfer window.

Willock, 21, joined the Magpies on loan during the winter window. His arrival was the catalyst for the Tynesiders to begin their move away from the relegation zone. And Steve Bruce’s side finished a creditable 12th in the standings, with 45 points to their name.

They won five of their last eight games and Willock played a starring role. The former England Under-21 ace scored eight top-flight goals and was a huge hit at St James’ Park.

Bruce has made no secret of the fact he wants to sign the Londoner on permanent terms. As ever with Newcastle, price is a major issue in any transfer but The Telegraph believe they will get their man.

Owner Mike Ashley is never one to be frivolous with money and this summer has been no exception. The north-east outfit have yet to make a signing with just a week before the new Premier League season begins.

It is thought that Newcastle will need to fork out in the region of £22m to get Willock on board. Whether or not they can do that only time will tell.

But the youngster was left out of the Arsenal side to face Tottenham in Sunday’s friendly. Rob Holding was another player missing.

And manager Mikel Arteta explained that there were separate issues surrounding the two stars.

“Two different reasons,” he told reporters after the match. “With Rob he wasn’t fit enough to play and with Joe we will explain the reasons when we can.

“When I can say more I will let you know.”

Bruce eager to get Willock deal done

Newcastle are not the only club said to be keen on Willock. French outfit Monaco are thought to hold and interest and were said to be leading the race last month.

And recently Bruce laid out his position as regards the protracted transfer.

“We can’t wait forever,” he said. “We’ve made it pretty obvious all summer that he’s our number one target. We’ll keep working away at it and see if something can develop.

“But, there comes a cut-off period.”

On the pitch, Arsenal fell to a 1-0 defeat against their fierce north London rivals. In a game that saw many substitutions, Son Heung-min’s second-half strike was enough to hand the Lilywhites bragging rights.

READ MORE: Newcastle ‘make contact’ for ‘incredible’ Liverpool star Klopp loves



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