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Steve Bruce – Money to be spent after Mike Ashley meet and one or two intended signings identified

7 months ago
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Steve Bruce has been speaking to the media on Friday morning.

The NUFC Head Coach meeting journalists ahead of training, in advance of the game against Chelsea on Friday.

To nobody’s surprise, Mike Ashley and potential signings were at least as high on the agenda, as the usual injury/fitness update and thoughts on the next game.

Steve Bruce stated that the Mike Ashley ‘transfer summit’ had gone well and there were funds available to spend, though he was keen to add that this has always been the case.

Lee Charnley’s claims of a £61m transfer budget plus cash from any sales, has led to belief amongst fans that there should be around £30m to be spent this window.

However, there would be zero surprise if not a single player was bought.

Steve Bruce today insisted that ‘We have identified one or two that we think can make the difference’ but there again he has been saying for over five months that a host of key players are going  to sign new contracts imminently, yet Martin Dubravka is the only one who has signed one in this past year.

When asked about Italian media reporting today that a deal is set to be done for Valentino Lazaro of Inter Milan, the NUFC Head Coach said the club have now been linked with 58 potential signings and Lazaro is the latest. Though the media consensus on this particular transfer story was that Steve Bruce’s reaction suggested that just maybe this one could have a bit of substance to it.

It is now only 14 days until the January transfer window closes…

Asked about the much publicised meeting with Mike Ashley on Wednesday:

“It went very well.

“We showed him what we’re trying to do and he was fully supportive.

“We have some plates spinning and we hope to add to the squad by the end of the month.

“We have said that the targets have to improve us and he has been fully supportive.

“He agrees that we buy quality not quantity and this has to be the mantra.

“There are funds available if we need them but that has always been the case.

“He (Mike Ashley) was interested in who we are looking at and which areas we are looking to strengthen, what type of player, he took a genuine interest in all of that.

“It was a very, very good meeting.”

Asked about Italian media claiming overnight that Newcastle will shortly complete a deal for Inter Milan’s Valentino Lazaro:

“I said it last week, it would be wrong to talk about individuals.

“We have been linked with around 58 players and he (Valentino Lazaro) is the latest one.

“I don’t want to comment on that just yet…

“There are a lot of players available (in January to sign) but not maybe of the right quality.

“We have identified one or two that we think can make the difference and lets hope we can get one or two over the line.”

Injuries/fitness for Chelsea:

“Manquillo, Colback, Ki, Gayle, Dummett, Yedlin and Muto are all out and we just have to wait on Andy Carroll.

“Fabian Schar is OK.

“Paul Dummett’s injury looks a particularly nasty one.

“Gayle’s is a bog-standard one of between four and six weeks.”

Facing Chelsea:

“Frank Lampard has been given a marvellous opportunity and he’s gone and stamped his authority straight away.

“I’m a big admirer of him.

“He is a great lad and he is doing very well.

“Chelsea have got some very good players and we’ll have to be at our best.”

On Allan Saint-Maximin:

“He has trained for the last two weeks and we hope he’s going to be OK for tomorrow.

“He’s got that absolute pace, that raw pace and power and that natural ability to go past someone.

“He is one where he can, in a flash, turn the game for you.

“And we have seen it many times with him when he’s been in the team, the results speak for themselves.

“We have missed him over the past four or five weeks but then even the biggest teams miss their best players.

“It’s good to have him back.”

On Joelinton:

“As I said the other night (against Rochdale)…

“If you compared the first five minutes of the game to the last five minutes, you could see that little bit of weight taken off his shoulders.”

“We know he has got a lot of qualities – he’s a young man and he’s still learning.

“But he’ll have learned how difficult the Premier League is, for a start, and let’s hope now he can get that little bit of confidence, which is why we played him in both cup ties. He nearly got two or three down at Rochdale, and thankfully in the last five minutes the other night he managed to score.

“Let’s hope it does him the world of good.”

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