Transfer news: Who could be on the move this summer?
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Former Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer has offered to speak to Joe Willock about the possibility of a summer move to the Magpies, claiming that the St. James’ Park club should ‘break the bank’ in order to secure his signature. The on-loan Arsenal man has found a new lease of life since making the switch in January, chipping in with seven Premier League goals to help secure Newcastle’s top-flight status for another season.
Willock only played 234 league minutes for the Gunners during the first half of the campaign, with his involvement generally restricted to Europa League group stage action.
However, he has since emerged as a key player for Newcastle, with his antics in front of goal winning plenty of points for Steve Bruce’s side.
The 21-year-old has scored two crucial late equalisers against Tottenham and Liverpool respectively, as well as a last-gasp winner to seal an important victory over West Ham United last month.
Willock was on target once again on Wednesday evening, heading home the only goal of the game against Championship-bound Sheffield United in front of a 10,000-strong home crowd.
Bruce has already declared that he will attempt to sign the midfielder on a permanent basis this summer, but the Newcastle boss could be inclined to call upon Shearer in order to speed things up.
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The Magpies legend has admitted that he is open to taking questions from Willock if the latter decides to pursue a move to the North East.
Shearer also urged his former employers to do whatever is required to sign the Gunners loanee, highlighting his critical role in shaping Newcastle’s recent fortunes.
“I think the standout signing is obvious, it’s staring us in the face and we have him already,” the 50-year-old told the Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust.
“I jokingly said on Match of the Day the other night about playing for a big club, but there’s a little bit of truth in it.
“I would love him to come and sample 52,000 at St. James’ Park when it’s rocking, when it’s going well and we’re getting the right results. The reception one of his goals would get, I think it’s an absolute no-brainer.
“Newcastle have to try and break the bank and get him here. Whether we will or not, I don’t know, but I bloody well hope so.
“I’m with Ian Wright on most Saturday nights, and Ian speaks to Joe and is a little bit of a mentor to him. I keep saying to him if he ever needs or wants anything, my number is there.
“I would love him to sample 52,000 on Saturday afternoon at Newcastle when things are going well, because there’s no better place in the world of football than St. James’ Park when that’s happening.
“It might be out of his hands, but I really hope we try to break the bank to bring him because he’s been incredible over the last few months.”
It remains to be seen whether Arsenal will be open to selling Willock this summer, with Real Madrid loanee Martin Odegaard set to return to the Spanish giants at the end of the campaign.
However, the Gunners are believed to be preparing for an imminent mass overhaul with a number of first-team players reportedly available for transfer.
Mikel Arteta suggested earlier this week that Willock will be an Arsenal player next season, but with the Spaniard seemingly not convinced of the midfielder’s capabilities until now, he could well decide to take advantage of Newcastle’s interest and cash in.
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