ARSENAL will reportedly demand at least £20million from Newcastle for Joe Willock with Steve Bruce eager to sign him permanently.
The loanee came off the bench last Saturday to score an incredible winner for the Toon against West Ham.
That wasn’t the 21-year-old’s first major impact for the Magpies, having also netted a late equaliser in the 2-2 draw with Spurs this month.
Bruce hopes he can negotiate a deal for Willock with Mikel Arteta this summer but admits Arsenal may want to keep hold of the midfield talent.
However, The Telegraph says Arsenal are ‘understood to be open to the idea of selling their academy graduate’ once the window re-opens.
And that ‘with an asking price in the region of £20m and Newcastle should be at the front of the queue’ as he is loving life in the North East.
Bruce has already declared his intention to try and recruit the star.
Ahead of today’s clash with Liverpool, he said: “I believe he is enjoying it here, he wants to be in the team, but he has scored three goals and the last two, particularly the last one were vitally important.
“You could see by his elation that he was delighted for the team.
“He’s a young lad and I’d love to keep him here and we will have some big conversations with Arsenal.”
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Despite initially impressing after breaking through at the Emirates, Willock struggled for match action this term.
And with game-time hard to come by, he may decide his future lies on Tyneside.
Meanwhile, reflecting on Newcastle’s survival hopes, with the club now eight points clear of the drop zone, Bruce added: “35 points is not enough.
“We still have six games to go, can we beat last year’s points tally of 44?”
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