football

Arsenal defender William Saliba added to Newcastle shopping list amid Joe Willock interest


Arsenal’s William Saliba has joined team-mate Joe Willock on the shopping list of Newcastle United, who have reportedly monitored the defender’s uncertain situation for 18 months.

The Magpies have already publicly registered an interest in Gunners midfielder Willock, who exceeded expectations on loan in Tyneside last season.

The 21-year-old secured a temporary switch to Newcastle in January to experience regular Premier League football and played a key role in the club’s top-flight survival.

Only Callum Wilson scored more than Willock’s eight goals among the Newcastle squad.

Willock netted in each of their final seven matches to move the club away from the relegation places.

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He returned the following summer but complained about only being given a few friendlies to prove himself to Arteta before being sent back out on loan to OGC Nice in January.

“Unai Emery signed me, but it was Arteta [who was manager] when I got there,” Siliba said.

“When I arrived there, they just finished their season. I didn’t train with them.

“I hadn’t trained for almost five or six months [because of the lockdown]. We played two or three friendlies, but I had no rhythm.

“I had to continue, but the coach judged me after two and a half games.”

Saliba is yet to play in the Premier League for Arsenal despite impressing during his two loan stints.

He made 20 Ligue 1 appearances for Nice and 12 the season before at St Etienne.

The France U20 international might instead choose to gain Premier League experience if an offer from Newcastle surfaces.

Newcastle boss Bruce has already made clear his desire to sign Saliba’s Arsenal team-mate Willock.

“All of us would love to [make it permanent],” Newcastle boss Bruce told TalkSPORT last month.

“He’s 21, a midfield player and he’s got five goals since the turn of the year, so of course we want him – but we have to respect that he’s Arsenal’s player.

“I’m sure Arsenal will have big discussions this summer, but if there’s a possibility that we can bring him back we’d love to do it.”





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