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Steve Bruce says Newcastle now negotiating for some ‘value for money’ signings but have competition

4 months ago
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Steve Bruce has been talking about the weeks ahead.

After the 2019/20 Premier League season there is then set to be only seven weeks until the 2020/21 one kicks off.

The next three weeks will see the players having a pre-season break, then four weeks to prepare for the next campaign.

Meanwhile the summer transfer window opens on Monday (27 July) and runs through for ten weeks until ending 5 October.

Steve Bruce says that a resolution to the takeover is needed urgently but claims that regardless of that, he and the club have got some new signings that are being lined up.

The NUFC Head Coach telling journalists on Friday: ‘We have got one or two things in the fire right now [regarding transfers]. Let’s hope we can pull them off but we have got competition. We need to improve the squad but also have to ensure we get value for money.”

Improving the squad AND value for money sounds ominous.

Value for money is obviously something that any club should strive for but at Newcastle under Mike Ashley, it usually means trying to do it on the cheap.

Steve Bruce has already previously said that the club would be looking at ‘Bosmans’ and interesting to look at what has happened these past couple of years in terms of transfer policy at NUFC.

Of the last 21 senior players signed, a massive 13 of them have been either free transfers or loan deals.

Carroll, Ki and Gillespie are the frees, then you have loan deals for Slimani, Dubravka, Kenedy, Barreca, Rondon, Kenedy, Willems, Rose, Bentaleb and Lazaro.

The eight paid for deals being Fernandez, Schar, Dubravka, Muto, Almiron, Joelinton, ASM and Krafth.

With Gillespie already signed on a free, I would be very surprised if the main business doesn’t prove to be more frees and or loan signings in the coming weeks, with the odd budget buy possibly thrown in.

I hope I am proved wrong because this Newcastle United team and squad needs some serious strengthening, especially when it comes to goalscoring and creativity. Positions where every club is always looking for quality players and where bargains are rare.

If Mike Ashley remains in control, that £40m+ he insisted on wasting on Joelinton could prove increasingly damaging.

Steve Bruce asked about the takeover and upcoming transfer window that opens on Monday (27 July):

“We need a resolution [to the takeover] one way or the other but all I can do, along with Lee Charnley, is to plan for what we need and work on that.

“A lot of previous planning has been disrupted because of what has happened in the world [with the impact of the virus].

“We have got one or two things in the fire right now [regarding transfers].

“Let’s hope we can pull them off but we have got competition.

“We need to improve the squad but also have to ensure we get value for money.”

Signing any or all of the three loan players on permanent deals?:

“We’ll have the conversations after the season finishes.

“The three of them have certainly helped us.

“We haven’t had a left back so we brought Danny [Rose] in.

“Bentaleb has come back very well.

Lazaro hasn’t had the game time but I’ve been quietly pleased with him.”

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Injuries / fitness for Sunday against Liverpool:

“We might have Isaac and Sean Longstaff [back].

“We have got a problem with Emil – he took a nasty whack to the ankle [against Brighton] – so we’ll see how he is in the next 24 hours.

“But if they come through, then Isaac and Sean might be available for the weekend.

“Unfortunately we won’t have any of the defenders back.

“We’ve got six centre backs on the books and five of them or injured.

“The one stand-in [Schar] we put there is injured too so it’s sod’s law.”

Twenty year old centre-back Kell Watts to get a chance?:

“There’s a possibility, but the main thing is with the boy is he hasn’t played for something like five months, which is a big ask if you haven’t played at all.

“He was out on loan and did very, very well and we’re very, very pleased with his progress.

“It’s a big, big ask for someone to come in and make their debut when you haven’t had a game under your belt for so long, so that’s in my thought process.”

Facing Liverpool:

“When you look at their team, and the squad of players they’ve put together, they’re young, and they could be around for a long, long time.

“To slaughter the league like they have, you can only just applaud them.

“To be 20-odd points clear… they practically won the league before lockdown.

“It’s a quite remarkable achievement, so congratulations to them all. They’re a breath of fresh air.”

Close season preparations and players available for start of the 2020/21 PL season?:

“It’s not official but everyone is talking about the 12th of September for the restart.

“We’ll have a break for three weeks which is vitally important.

“Then we have a three week programme which is similar to what we’ve just had.

‘Fabian Schär has an operation this afternoon so we’re hoping 6-8 weeks for him and we hope he’ll be there or thereabouts when the season restarts.

“That goes for Lascelles and all of the injured players too.”

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