Willock spent the second half of last season on loan at Newcastle from Arsenal and made a big impact at St James’ Park as Bruce kept the Magpies in the Premier League.
Bruce wants to bring Willock back to the club in the ongoing summer transfer window, but Newcastle are yet to make any progress on re-signing him.
The Newcastle boss is clear that Willock is his number one target, but has warned that the Magpies cannot wait forever to sign him again.
“We can’t wait forever”, Bruce told BBC Radio Newcastle.
“We’ve made it pretty obvious all summer that he’s our number one target, so we’ll keep working away at it and see if something can develop.
“But, there comes a cut-off period.”
Bruce also revealed that Newcastle have not put any bids in for targets yet, but he is confident that something can develop and fresh faces can arrive.
“We haven’t made a bid for anybody – yet. We’ve got one or two irons in the fire.
“I’m confident that we’ll bring two or three new players in, but we’ll have to wait another week or so.”
Newcastle ran out 2-0 winners away at Burton Albion on Friday night in a pre-season friendly.