Newcastle will quickly shift their focus to signing a Chelsea midfielder after a deal for a familiar Arsenal face was deemed ‘close’, per a report.
Despite frequent criticism, Steve Bruce guided Newcastle to a respectable 12th-placed finish last year. Admittedly, the Magpies were entrenched in a relegation dogfight until a late season surge saw them break free.
A key component behind their purple patch of form was undoubtedly the goalscoring prowess of Joe Willock.
On loan from Arsenal, the English midfielder tied a Premier League club record held by Alan Shearer for consecutive number of games scored in (seven).
Understandably, Newcastle have widely been reported to be keen to bring the 22-year-old back on board.
Mikel Arteta’s recent comments suggested he hopes Willock will remain at the Emirates next season. However, he immediately left the exit door ajar by revealing they wish to get the most out of him while they still can.
“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,” said Arteta.
They deem another loan stint in the North East for Willock to be ‘close’ to being agreed.
Chelsea star next on Newcastle agenda
Should Willock return to the Magpies, he could soon be followed by another rising English talent.
The same Telegraph report (via Caught Offside) states that Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher is ‘on their list of targets’.
The 21-year-old was a rare bright spark in the ill-fated campaign of West Brom while on loan last season.
But with Thomas Tuchel’s midfield already full of proven options, another spell away could be on the cards.
Chelsea’s stance on a Gallagher exit is stated to be ‘unclear’ at present. Though with Billy Gilmour’s recent loan exit to Norwich serving as a prime example, Chelsea have already shown they are willing to give their youngsters opportunity to impress in the same league.