Newcastle agree £25m fee with Arsenal for Willock

Newcastle have agreed a fee in the region of £25m with Arsenal for midfielder Joe Willock.

Personal terms are yet to be finalised, but Newcastle will be keen to complete the deal in time for Willock to be available for the opening game of the season against West Ham on Sunday.

Willock was left out of Sunday’s pre-season friendly at Tottenham, with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta saying: “We will explain the reasons when we can.”

The 21-year-old has been Newcastle’s number-one target all window following a successful loan spell in the second half of last season.

Willock scored eight goals in 14 appearances and set a new record by becoming the youngest player to score in seven consecutive games.

Leicester midfielder James Maddison (AP)
Leicester midfielder James Maddison is of interest to Arsenal

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has made no secret of his desire to see the midfielder return to the club this summer, and said last month that they would “keep badgering away” to secure his signing.

This could boost Arsenal’s chances of signing James Maddison from Leicester this summer, with fresh funds potentially now available for Arteta.

Maddison is understood to be open to the idea of joining Arsenal, despite Leicester having finished above the Gunners for the last two Premier League seasons.

There remains doubt as to whether Arsenal can raise a fee that Leicester would accept for the 24-year-old, with the club having already spent £50m on signing defender Ben White from Brighton.

However, the north London club are exploring alternative ways of structuring the deal, with a cash-plus-players offer a possibility if there are available Arsenal players that interest Leicester.

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