Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock has emerged as a target for Ligue 1 side AS Monaco this summer.

According to RMC Sport, the French club have identified the 21-year-old prospect as an alternative to Jean Lucas.

Monaco are keen to sign the Olympique Lyonnais midfielder. However, a deal is proving hard to complete for Niko Kovac’s side.

Indeed, Newcastle United are hot on the heels for Willock as well. The Arsenal youngster spent last season with the Toon, with the Hale End academy graduate thriving with the northeast side.

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Willock broke the record for the youngest Premier League side to score in seven consecutive matches. In doing so, the midfielder guided Newcastle to a comfortable 12th place finish in the standings.

It is not known if Monaco are interested in a loan or permanent deal for Willock. Moreover, Mikel Arteta has already claimed that he views the midfielder as part of his long-term plan at Arsenal.

Photo by STU FORSTER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The Basque manager told Football London in May: “Yes [when asked if Willock is part of Arsenal’s future]. He will be back with us. We will have those conversations with him and plan the next years for him.”

With Fabrizio Romano reporting via the Arsenal Lounge that the Gunners value Willock at £30m, it is unlikely that the north London side will sell the England youth international permanently this summer.

Arsenal should retain Willock for 2021/22 season

Indeed, with Willock featuring in every pre-season fixture for Arsenal this summer, there might be a chance that the midfielder remains with Arteta’s side rather than going out on loan for a second season.

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

The midfielder proved with Newcastle last season that he has the quality to compete in the Premier League.

And with Arsenal yet to sign an attacking midfielder, Willock could be a good option to rival Emile Smith Rowe for the position next season.

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