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.