Steve Bruce has discussed Newcastle’s pursuit of Joe Willock with the midfielder having a medical ahead of a £25m move from Arsenal.
Newcastle have agreed a fee with Arsenal and personal terms with the player ahead of a permanent return to St James’ Park for the 21-year-old, with Willock having impressed during a loan spell at the club over the second half of last season.
Willock scored eight goals in just 14 appearances for the Magpies, including becoming the youngest player in Premier League history to score in seven consecutive fixtures.
Willock is expected to sign a six-year deal with Newcastle and Bruce admits he is delighted the club’s ‘patient’ approach looks set to result in the player’s permanent arrival.
“He’s having a medical as we speak, so we hope that that comes through ok and he’ll be able to train with us this afternoon,” he said at his pre-match press conference.
“We knew we had to be patient since the last game of the season. We made it pretty obvious that if Joe was going to become available then we would try to secure him.
“To start with, I knew Mikel [Arteta] would want to have a look at him, that is only normal to have a look at your young players, so we knew we had to be patient.
“Obviously, we explored the loan situation to begin with because I think it would have suited Joe and it would have certainly suited us, but when that wasn’t possible, we’ve had to go and buy him which is great for us.
“There were times when I didn’t think it was going to happen but we’ve managed to get it over the line. The key to it, of course, is Joe wanting to come back.
“So we’ve had to be patient, but it’s been worth the wait. Where else can you find a 21-year-old who scored seven on the trot and plays like him? Fair play to everyone to get it done.”
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Author: Harry Diamond