Bournemouth and Newcastle United are ahead of Leeds United in the race for Chris Willock, as Benfica struggle to give the ex-Arsenal forward enough minutes at the top level.

Portuguese outlet A Bola write that the two English clubs are now the main contenders to sign Willock on loan. Previously, the media linked him with Leeds United, but the Whites look to be out of the race. Bournemouth and Newcastle are now the only interested parties, but neither are close to a deal.

Willock left Arsenal for Portugal in the summer, after 14 years in North London. The Gunners had offered the forward a new deal, but he clearly didn’t feel he’d get enough first-team chances. Considering the 19-year-old didn’t make a single Premier League appearance, that was probably a fair assumption.

However, things haven’t exactly gone as planned, as Benfica haven’t given him any first-team opportunities either. Instead, the Portuguese side have played the England u20 international in their B team, and even those chances are drying up now. Willock has only started one of the last five matches for Benfica B, despite scoring two goals in the two games before that.

What probably makes it even more painful is that brother Joe Willock has seven senior appearances for Arsenal this season. Hopefully Chris gets his opportunity on loan to prove himself now.

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