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Mike Ashley gives go ahead for two Newcastle United signings in June – Report

6 days ago
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Newcastle United are set to sign two players this month, as the essential squad strengthening begins, according to reports on Monday morning.

Ahead of the final match of the season on 23 May, Steve Bruce was asked what was needed in this 2021 summer transfer window and said: “I think we need at least three or four but for me it’s all about adding that bit of quality to the squad,

“We have seen the impact that Callum Wilson has had for example and adding that bit of quality to the existing squad we have got [now] is the most important thing. My job is always to knock  on the door [of Mike Ashley] and believe me, I will knock on the door as hard as I can.”

Now the Chronicle say that their information is that Mike Ashley has given the go ahead for Steve Bruce’s plans to recruit a number of players, with the aim to hopefully bring in two of them by the end of the month, in time for pre-season starting.

It is four weeks today when the Newcastle squad report back to the training ground on Monday 5 July and then it is less than six weeks after that when the Premier League 2021/22 season kicks off on the weekend of Saturday 14 August.

The report says that Mike Ashley has given the recruitment go ahead regardless of what lies ahead this summer in terms of a potential Newcastle United takeover and the legal clashes that lie ahead with the Premier League.

What isn’t of course known is where Newcastle United will be shopping this summer. Steve Bruce talks of similar quality to £20m signing Callum Wilson, with Joe Willock obviously springing to mind, the midfielder now valued at £25m as a minimum after his goalscoring on loan at NUFC.

If Mike Ashley had asked for / demanded a buying clause price in the loan deal, then even the NUFC owner would see it as a no-brainer surely if it was around £10m-£12m to sign Willock. However, having failed to have any clause inserted, probably not a lot (and?) Newcastle fans confident that even any serious attempt will be made to compete for Joe Willock’s permanent signature.

A lot of mentions of loans and free transfers to form a lot of Newcastle’s business this summer, if indeed there are to be many signings. Mike Ashley has been going increasingly down this route for some time now and indeed nine of the fourteen signings of senior players since Steve Bruce arrived, have been either free transfers or loan deals.

One player who Newcastle have been constantly linked with is 23 year old Norwegian centre-back Kristoffer Ajer and the media north of the border, appear to think it is all but guaranteed he will leave Celtic for the Premier League this summer. If any kind of a bidding war with other clubs, you are always sceptical of Mike Ashley allowing Newcastle to compete, so if Ajer is indeed any good, then ironically the reality these days is that you then find it less likely that NUFC will be successful in recruiting him.

If there are limited funds and with currently numerous options at centre-back, it would be a surprise if Mike Ashley allowed much money to be spent on a centre-back. No official confirmation yet but it has been claimed that Fabian Schar has had a one year extension triggered by the club and also that Federico Fernandez is going to, or indeed already has agree a new deal.

If the above are correct then that means Newcastle United currently having Fernandez, Schar, Lascelles, Dummett, Krafth and Clark as centre-back options next season. There is clearly a need to bring in some younger players to Newcastle’s rapidly ageing squad and Kristoffer Ajer could fit the bill. However, if a centre-back was to come in, I would guess at least two will need to leave, with probably Lejeune the most likely, plus perhaps Clark or Schar. Much could depend of course on whether Newcastle get offered relatively decent cash for any player in the weeks ahead.

The Premier League transfer window opens on Wednesday (9 June) but judging from past years, Mike Ashley has very rarely allowed swift moves to be made early in the summer transfer windows, so the smart money is on no additions ahead of pre-season starting in early July. I hope I’m proved wrong.

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