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Steve Bruce says he is targeting free transfers to improve Newcastle United team and squad next season

2 weeks ago
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Newcastle United are targeting free transfers this summer.

Steve Bruce claims the club has seen plans they had in place to buy players now ‘scuppered’ and instead asks the question: ‘Is there a Bosman out there that can improve us?’

Well, the answer to that is most certainly yes, there would be Bosmans / free transfers available that would improve this current Newcastle team.

However, the answer is almost certainly no, if you are asking whether Newcastle would sign any freebies that would improve the side, certainly while Mike Ashley owns the club.

The trouble is, the very good free transfers will demand far higher wages due to no transfer fee to pay, with Mike Ashley having refused to do this year after year.

So, Newcastle have ended up a lot of free transfers BUT they have almost all been rubbish signings, going for cheaper ‘free transfers’ in terms of wages, you just end up with problems that other clubs were happy to get rid of.

Players with really poor injury records, players who are no longer anywhere close to quality shown in the past, or players who didn’t have that quality to begin with.

Under Mike Ashley, Newcastle have signed on free transfers the likes of Andy Carroll, Ki, Jack Colback, Jesus Gamez, Dan Gosling, Sol Campbell, Cacapa, Geremi, Mark Viduka and Shefki Kuqi. A (relative) fortune wasted on ‘bargain’ free transfers. Even when he did approve a couple of high wage free transfers, Ashley got his fingers burnt when relying on the judgement of Sam Allardyce with Geremi and Viduka.

The thing is, even if Newcastle hit lucky with a free transfer under Mike Ashley, it is a bit of a waste of time long-term. Graham Carr’s finest moment was learning that Demba Ba could leave for nothing if West Ham were relegated only months after buying him.

Ba came in and scored for fun, asked for higher wages now that he had proved himself, the striker not happy when Mike Ashley refused, so left after only 18 months at NUFC.

Meanwhile, the club gets stuck with likes of poor players such as Jack Colback for six years, one of those bargain free transfers who ends up costing a fortune in wages and you can’t get rid of, happy to sit and count his money for doing nothing until leaving on another free transfer.

Yes Newcastle should consider free transfers, just like every other kind of signing they might make, BUT I don’t see what is to be gained by Steve Bruce admitting that as things stand, this is the only plan at the moment if things stay as they are, with Mike Ashley and him still at St James Park.

It really brings home just how much our hopes rest on a knife edge, guaranteed more misery and struggles if Mike Ashley stays, as opposed to hope and ambition if the takeover happens.

Steve Bruce says he doesn’t know when the 2020/21 season will kick off but it is widely reported that it is set to be in September, once the Champions League and Europa League are played out in August, that following the 2019/20 PL season scheduled to finish before the end of July.

As for Andy Carroll in talks to stay at Newcastle for next season, this is just stacking even more problems up, keeping a player who can’t even get and stay fit.

The Chronicle report Steve Bruce talking about the upcoming transfer window:

“Is there a Bosman out there that can improve us?

“They are out of contract and you can speak to them whenever you want.

“That has been on the agenda.

“As for moving [for] anything [anybody] else, our plans for pre-season that we had in place have been scuppered.

“We don’t even know the start date for next season.

“I am not alone.”

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