A recent breakthrough at Arsenal has given Newcastle fresh hope of pulling off a transfer between the two clubs, per a report.
The Gunners were recently boosted by the news of Emile Smith Rowe penning fresh terms. The rising playmaker, 20, had become the shock subject of transfer links to Aston Villa. However, Smith Rowe insisted there was never a choice to be made when explaining why he extended his stay.
That deal is undoubtedly great news for Arsenal, but it could also be viewed positively by Newcastle.
That’s because the Magpies have been chasing Smith Rowe’s fellow midfielder, Joe Willock.
Willock excelled on loan at St. James’ Park last year, even going on to tie a club-record held by Alan Shearer.
Mikel Arteta recently gave a mixed message when speaking on what the future holds for Willock at the Emirates. While he acknowledged he is currently in their plans, he went on to say they wish to “make the most out of him” while they still can.
As such, Steve Bruce stated he will continue to “badger away” at Arsenal over bringing Willock on board once more.
And per Sky Sports, Smith Rowe’s new deal may have indirectly boosted Newcastle’s chances of landing their man.
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They report that Newcastle are ‘hopeful’ it will ‘accelerate’ a prospective deal for Willock.
The pair both occupy the same central attacking midfield position and with Smith Rowe now tied down, Willock could be allowed to move on.
The chances of that happening while uncertainty hung over Smith Rowe’s future were always slim. Now, however, Arsenal may finally be more receptive to the Magpies’ advances.
Newcastle complete defender transfer
Should Willock eventually move back up north, he will not be playing alongside Florian Lejeune.
The defender, 30, has completed his permanent move to Spanish side Alaves after spending a year on loan there last season.
Lejeune had one year remaining on his deal and per Sky Sports, has moved for an ‘undisclosed fee’.
The exact amount is thus far unknown, though Bruce did admit it will “put a few quid in the coffers.”