MIKEL ARTETA appears to have wrecked Newcastle’s hopes of signing Joe Willock by revealing he is planning to have the star back next season.
The 21-year-old left the Gunners in January and headed to St. James’ Park on loan for the rest of the campaign.
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Willock has since become a huge hit on Tyneside and scored the winner against Sheffield United on Wednesday.
That was his sixth consecutive goal for the Magpies – and Toon boss Steve Bruce is desperate to keep him.
Newcastle are hoping they can tempt Arsenal into selling the midfielder for a fee of around £20million once the transfer window re-opens.
However, the North London side’s manager Arteta insisted today that Willock will be coming back to them.
He said: “I am really happy that things have gone so well because of the potential that he has.
“I think it was great for him to go away and have a different experience.
“He has grabbed that opportunity in a really positive and remarkable way and he will come back to us, we will have a conversation with him and plan the next years for him.”
Bruce was asked to respond to Arteta’s comments earlier, and he vowed to still try to hold onto the ace long-term.
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He said: “We will try to test their resolve. We will try our utmost.
“We must respect that he is Arsenal's player and he's 21.
“When you have six in six and you are the youngest player to do it, and he's somebody else's player so we are up against it. We will try our best.”
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