Arsenal tipped to green light Willock exit and sign 'bigger fish' after Newcastle talks - pundit

Alex McLeish has tipped Mikel Arteta to give Joe Willock the green light to leave Arsenal permanently this summer amid interest from Newcastle United. 

The former Scotland boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the Gunners would look to sign “bigger fish” this summer.

The Guardian claim the 21-year-old is among several players Arsenal would consider selling to build transfer funds this summer.

Willock joined Newcastle on loan in January and has made an immediate impact on Tyneside.

Football Insider revealed the midfielder would be keen to remain at St James’ Park, possibly on a permanent basis, next season.

The two clubs have already spoken about another loan spell for next term.

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McLeish admitted it would be a surprise to see Arsenal Willock depart after his impressive form.

However, he suggested the Gunners may have their sights set on more high-profile signings to get over their disappointing campaign.

McLeish told Football Insider‘s Russell Edge: “It’s incredible that Arsenal, with their indifferent season as to where their fans would expect them to be, they’ve got a kid right in front of them, on their doorstep.

“Maybe because they have had the mediocre season, they will be looking for bigger fish.

“To come up with the vital goals he’s come up with in recent weeks, he’s been brilliant.  But it would take Willock a long time to get into that Arsenal team.

“Unless Arteta’s seen enough of his Newcastle performances to say this kid’s got to be a starter, which I would highly doubt.” 

Willock has netted five times in 11 appearances for Newcastle, including in each of his last four games.

He has a total of 78 appearances under his belt for Arsenal to date.

In other news, Arsenal have been told to sign “next Vieira” after Arteta transfer hint.