Bruce sends Arsenal warning over Willock; Wilson, Saint-Maximin fitness updates

Joe Willock celebrating with Newcastle teammate Jacob Murphy, May 2021

Steve Bruce has given an update on Newcastle’s continued chase for Joe Willock, sending a warning to his parent club Arsenal in the process.

The Magpies have been chasing another loan deal for the young midfielder, who scored eight times in 14 appearances during his six-month stint at St James’ Park last term. Indeed, the 21-year-old revitalised his career under Bruce – who wants to bring him back.

Speaking after Friday night’s 2-0 friendly win over Burton Albion, Bruce confirmed that no cash deals are on the cards.

However, he put the ball firmly in Arsenal’s court over a deal for Willock.

Bruce said: “We can’t wait forever. 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.”

Willock’s move has been cast into further doubt after French reports claimed that Monaco are also keen.

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Duo should be fit for Prem opener

Meanwhile, Bruce has not ruled out having Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson back for Newcastle’s Premier League opener against West Ham in a fortnight.

Bruce said it was “possible” the duo could play against Norwich at St James’ Park next weekend.

When asked about Saint-Maximin, who has been missing with an illness, Bruce said: “It’s possible. We will see how he recovers.”

And on Wilson, the Toon chief told BBC Newcastle: “If it was a league game tonight, I think he would have played.”

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