Mikel Arteta and Steve Bruce disagree over Joe Willock’s Arsenal future

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta and Newcastle manager Steve Bruce are in disagreement over midfielder Joe Willock’s future.

The Englishman was sent out on loan to St James’ Park on February’s transfer deadline day, where he has gone on to score seven goals in 13 Premier League appearances.

Having been limited to the cup competitions with the Gunners in the first half of the season, it has led to speculation of where the 21-year-old will be next year.

But Arteta has said that he wants to get Willock back to the Emirates Stadium this summer, having scored three Europa League goals in the group stages.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s home clash with Brighton, the Spaniard said: “Yes, 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.

“He will come back to us, we will have a conversation with him and plan the next years for him. He got the responsibility and the task to go to Newcastle to help them go where they want.

“I’m telling you that I spoke with the coaching staff and they are extremely happy because he was a key part in contributing to get the objectives that they had. So that’s a real positive for him.

“He’s got a contract and that’s going to be here. That’s for sure.”

But this is a stark contrast to the thoughts of Bruce, who suggested that the most northern team in the Premier League could attempt to lure Willock back to St James’ Park.

"We will try to test their resolve,” the former Manchester United defender said in his pre-match conference ahead of the Magpies’ trip to Fulham.

"We will try our utmost. We must respect he's Arsenal's player and he's 21.

“My job is always to knock the door and, believe me, I will knock the door as hard as I can. That's my job but, usually, I go through my CEO, Lee, and he's fed up of me knocking the door.”

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