Steve Bruce has reiterated Newcastle’s desire to sign Joe Willock but he admits the ball is very much in Arsenal’s court.

The England international secured hero status at St James’ Park during an incredible loan spell in the North-East scoring in seven consecutive games to steer the Magpies away from the relegation zone.

Bruce was so enamoured with the midfielder that he was quick to let the Gunners know he wanted the player back. So far, Mikel Arteta has resisted the overtures and the player has been welcomed back to the first team squad for pre-season training.

Asked about the situation last week, the Spaniard said: “Joe is part of our plans, he’s our player and in the time that he is here we will try to make the most out of him.”

Since then, Bruce has made clear that he’s not giving up on Willock. “As I’ve said, it’s really Arsenal’s decision, and until Arsenal make a decision – a bit like all the big clubs, they have a look over pre-season – we’ll keep monitoring and badgering away,” he said. 

“We’d love to do something but it’s still Arsenal’s call.”

Elsewhere, Inter Milan’s tepid flirtation with Hector Bellerin continues. The Serie A champions are on the lookout for a new right-back following the sale of Achraf Hakimi to Paris Saint Germain and our man is on a possible shortlist.

Speaking to Sky Sport Italia on Saturday, Inter Milan CEO Giuseppe Marotta said: “Hector Bellerin is a player that we are following, but I can’t say anymore.”

He also confirmed that Manchester United’s Alex Telles is another option.

The Gunners are said to be holding out for £15 million for Bellerin; cash which would be redirected towards a replacement. Bellerin has been Arsenal first-choice right-back since 2014/15 and has made 239 appearances.

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StockholmGooner

Stop flirting and get a room already

Parisian Weetabix

Right? Enough with the Willock, Won’tock.

Jules

Reply to this stating your preferred right back replacement for bellerin. I’ll start: Celik

Chris

Max Aarsons

Chris

He’d light up the whole right side of the pitch:D

Daveo

That joke, setup by your own typo was like passing an assist off the backboard to yourself on a breakaway before throwing down the one handed, tomahawk, alley oop, slam

Luke

Lumptey or Aarons. It’s a good position to bring in a homegrown player, and purchase foreign in midfield.

Dave Ingram

Lamptey with ACL??

Daveo

Hopefully he has two ACLs…

Master Floda

Maitland-Niles

AusGunner

Eboué

Teryima Adi

Hilarious

Qwaliteee

Nah. Eboue needs to be played left side of midfield…..

🤣

Spiffy The Dog

Oleg Luzhny

ChickPEA

Maehle

A Voice in the Noise

Aarons would be amazing. My other ideal signing would be Klostermann from RB Leipzig.
Don’t think we can expect to raid Brighton further for Lamptey, and Maehle has said he’s not leaving Atalanta.
Celik or Dubois might be good, not-too-expensive options considering the financial state of many french clubs at the moment.

Neder

I’d be all for Aarons or Dumfries… he’s been exceptional for PSV and tore it up for a really average Oranje at the Euros.

Jules

We won’t sign Dumfries i don’t think. I can hardly believe it, but it seems we are allergic to signings over 24 now, and that’s good news.

Teryima Adi

Cafu😜

Qwaliteee

Pat Rice.

Lucas

Tyler adams for a RB capable of tucking in midfield

Tasmanian Jesus

Boy, did I read that wrong..

Good Ebening

15 Mil for Bellerin? First team RB might cost us anything north of 25 Mil depending on a multitude of factors. So again are we selling low ,& buying high?
Even 20 Mil for Xhaka is less given his profile. Replacements will be more expensive.

Nor saying we should not sell, but from commercial standpoint does not sound right

Djgooner

Italian clubs have no money + Hector is in poor form considering where he was a few years ago. If we bought him in from inter for more than that we’d say we overpaid.

Qwaliteee

Crap.

He set up the winner in the 2020 FA Cup Final.

Savage

When you upgrade a position, you expect to make a net loss

TungorAdams

We are, and look doomed to do so for all our transfers also this summer, Xhaka will go below market value, ballerine should be a +35 player, the only thing we can hope for is a late mid table club bidding war for some of our fringe players

Boydy

Side note, probably time to drop the Good Ebening gag eh?

Qwaliteee

Why?

Come on, lighten up FFS.

Given what happened in last season’s EL Semi, it’s probably more relevant than ever.

Daveo

Based on his last three seasons bellerin is unfortunately no where near 35m quid. If he’s worth that why would we need to sell him? I’m sad to be losing Hector because he’s a top chap and a gooner, but he has well and truly plateaued.

George

Agree. We’ve been getting bossed in the market so now everyone takes the michael.

Teryima Adi

Amen

Perry Groves Tips

We shouldn’t sell ourselves short of course but if we need to trim the squad to make room for new blood we may, regrettably, have to take less for players than some Gooners want because that’s all that potential buyers are prepared to pay. The alternative is not to sell them, but where does that leave us other than with an even larger (and more expensive, wage wise) squad if we still bring in new players, or just forget new purchases and go with what we have? I don’t see that option as being acceptable at all so some cut… Read more »

Djouroureallylikeit

Really, as with everything, they are worth as much as teams are prepared to pay.

Rob67

£15 million for Bellerin is way too low. Especially as they flogged the other guy for over £40 million. Both Bellerin and Willock should not depart for anything less than £20 million + each.

UzesGooner

Italian clubs are skint. May have to be loans with obligation to buy? not ideal. Locatelli is a distraction, please lets just move on to Neves or/and Bissouma and why haven’t we met Aouar’s £20m price? It’s half of what we offered last season!!

weeble

I think it is an off the field concern or two.

oneniltotheboys

It’s a difficult situation.At this point in the window clubs are trying to lowball each other,for obvious reasons (Ben White aside). Is it better to sell players like Hector,Joe,Reiss,etc now and use the money to get players in,give them a pre-season and get them integrated,even though we’d have to settle for (considerably?) less than we think/know they’re worth? Or…. Do we hang on,play hardball and wait for the bidding wars as the window ticks to a close?What if we still don’t get what we want and we end up having to loan them out because the squad’s too big and… Read more »

truj

Willock is a diamond. Not fitting in Arteta’s chaotic system? I think letting him go is a big mistake.

Qwaliteee

Agreed.

Definitely a hatrick against us when he returns – if we – sorry, Arteta – allows him to leave.

Teryima Adi

Just sell Willock. A character in a scene in the “The good, the bad and the ugly” says: “if you want to shoot, shoot don’t talk.”

Qwaliteee

Yeah.

The only shooting you get with Arteta around is Arteta shooting Arsenal in the foot.

Boydy

The ideal next move for Willock is a new contract then a full season on loan with Newcastle. Gives him a solid crack to develop as a PL midfielder, protects his future value, and pushes the ‘do we integrate him into the squad or profit on him’ decisions 12 months down the line – ideally when clubs have more coin.

UzesGooner

Yep!

Fabregooner

There are some downsides with that:
Joe may not accept a new contract
It means we don’t get the cash now for investing now
He may have a terrible season with Newcastle, or get injured, reducing his value.
If he’s not part of Arteta’s plans I say sell him now while his stock is high. The problem with that of course, is that Ashley won’t want to pay what he’s worth (£25M at least)

UzesGooner

So offer him a new contract with a deadline…

truj

Keep him, Arteta wont be part of our plans in December.

Qwaliteee

Or Edu.

To quote the bartender in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, “Out you two pixies go…..”

Boydy

Hello mate! I don’t disagree, I think the ideal depends on said new contract. I do wonder how much of a stinker he would need to drop his value enough to be worth less than now when clubs have more coin – probably would mean he stays about the same if that makes sense? Newcastle won’t be his long term home for sure, no money there.

Kris

Haven’t we seen enough of what Willock can do on loan; it’s not like any second spell he has is likely to be any better than what he did last time out given how insane that was. To me it would feel a bit like Chambers to Fulham, after we already knew what he could do at Boro. Either you include him in the squad and see what he can do, or you cash in now. If he’s not up to Arsenal we shouldn’t need another season at Newcastle to realise that, and, if so, all that additional season may… Read more »

PeteyB

Yep. Things can change fast. Probably we missed the boat with AMN and should have taken the offer from Wolves

Boydy

It’s not so much about what he can do on loan, but giving him more time to develop as a player. Young players always have capacity to bugger it up, better him doing it on someone elses dime then coming back to us. Similar logic to Saliba.

Perry Groves Tips

If players are coming in in the numbers that reports suggest, we’ll need to get quite a few out – and pretty quickly at that. It looks like Bellerin will almost certainly leave. If so, hopefully we can get more than the suggested £15m but, if not, I don’t see we’ve much option but to take around that amount (if offered). We should be able to raise more for Willock as there seems to be firm interest from Newcastle. If Arsenal managed to sell both and got a total of around £35m for the pair, I think Edu and co.… Read more »

Boydy

The other factor here is Hectors salary. As an established senior in the side he’ll be on good money, and I’m sure his replacement won’t come straight into similar pay. So the transfer fee might be a net loss, but on salary it could still even out.

Happy

Inter are not ready. If they are ready they will pay from the Hakimi money.

Qwaliteee

Until such a time that we have a decent replacement for Hector, getting rid of him will weaken the squad.

As for Willock, he has proved that he can get forward and score goals in the Premiership. So, naturally, Arteta probably doesn’t see him fitting into his ‘High Pressing Process’ aka LEGOball aka total shite.

Seriously whilst Willian, Cedric, Xhaka and Elneny remain on the books, we shouldn’t even be thinking about moving anyone else on apart from those four clowns.

SarcasmB0t

I doubt we can “move” Willian. You’ve seen him play – or not play. No other team is going to pay him 20% of what we are – not unless they’re brain stupid.

We either pay him the £20 million he is “owed”, we keep him or we convince him tear up the contract.

One of these possibilities is far less likely than the other two.
I fully expect Mikel to regularly use him as a sub in a living example of the sunk cost fallacy.

Qwaliteee

If he ends up more or less costing Arteta his job, I will laugh my bollocks off.

weeble

Willian is going to have to be told he won’t be registered. as in find a club or you will not play

KongoKim

15mio for Bellerin sounds like a joke. thats what clubs pay for backups. imo if we cant get 25+ we should keep him. chambers did well but also currently the only option. and people act like we already signed a rb?! imagine if we dont get aarons or lamptey. sell bellerin for 15, chambers gonna be first choice and we sign a backup for 15(who we probably send on loan and play soares rb)?! i just hate to loose heccy and i sincerely believe he will come back to form, but obv can’t argue if an acceptable offer comes in.… Read more »

Perry Groves Tips

So if we keep these players, how does that free up space to bring in other players? Surely, the aim isn’t to increase the overall squad size (and cost). If we can sell, then I think we’ll have little option but to take what’s being offered – or to accept that there won’t many “new” players arriving after all. As I don’t think that the current squad is up to the job how do we improve it without moving players in and out?

KongoKim

With these players u mean fringe players?! i expect AMN to leave, therefore its only chambers and cedric who can play rb/rwb. u can’t go into a season with only two options at rb. IF its certain that we get an decent upgrade and therefore need to shift bellerin to free funds/pace it’s something different.
but the last months our fanbase was crying out for 60mio hakimi, bayern is intrested in both, aarons & lamptey so who will come and replace 15mio (club captain) bellerin?!
shift strikers and mfs, not one of our 2 rb.

TomH

Bells price is low but its that time…Both club and player are happy to part ways, so we should do it and not be all sentimental about losing him. The market is pish at the moment and is likely to remain pish for at least 2 or more seasons. We aint going to get 25 for Bells in the next 2 seasons and upping his wages (if we wanted him longer or to preserve value) is not an option when comparing his output. We have Cedric and Chambers at RB, neither is ideal but both are competent. I would play… Read more »

KongoKim

Can’t help but be bit sentimental about it. I like him. Thats how fandom works.
Output?!…cmon it was a torn ACL, give him time.
We will lose more than a decent rb option.

A Different George

Well, I’m not always a great admirer of Steve Bruce, but I do like that he seems to consider Arsenal a “big club.”

Rob

Only £15 million? That seems awfully cheap to me.

SarcasmB0t

Do we want to keep him? No.

Why not? Because he’s not good enough for us anymore.

That’s why the price is what it is.

Hakuna Matata

How reliable is the express? They are claiming we have entered the race 4 max aarons

Teta's cult of personality

Alex Telles as an alternative as an alternative to Bellerin? But Telles is a left-back. Maybe there’s a mistranslation somewhere.

Knowing Hector’s interest outside of football, a transfer to Inter sounds like a transfer I’m sure he would really interested in.

Arsenio

They got 60m for hakimi? I’d just settle and let them take bellerin for 50 😁