Exclusive – Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock has agreed to move to Newcastle United, 90min understands.
Earlier this month, 90min revealed that Newcastle and Arsenal had come to agreement on a £25m move, but the 21-year-old was unsure whether to commit to a deal – having seen his stock significantly rise after an impressive loan spell at St James’ Park.
Newcastle had a limited budget this summer of around £20m but such was Willock’s impact, owner Mike Ashley agreed to finance the deal outside of the club’s main transfer budget.
Agreeing terms with Arsenal has not been the problem for Newcastle, rather Willock was not convinced over leaving the Emirates Stadium on a permanent deal. At one stage, Willock suggested another loan move, but the Magpies have always wanted to commit to a transfer.
Willock has held extensive talks with Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta about his future, and it’s understood that although he made it clear that he’d be happy to fight for a first-team place, the Spaniard indicated that he would not be given a prominent role in north London.
That conversation has led Willock to accept that his future lies away from Arsenal, and he wants that to be with Newcastle – who have been pushing to bring him back to Tyneside throughout the summer.
Steve Bruce has been anxious to bolster his squad, but the Willock deal will be the first arrival for the Magpies boss. 90min understands Bruce still wants to add another three players – likely two of those loans – to his arsenal before the end of the transfer window.
Newcastle hope to have Willock available to make his full debut against West Ham in their Premier League opener on Saturday.