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Mike Ashley u-turn blocks Steve Bruce deadline day signings : Predicted ‘trouble ahead’ – Report

2 weeks ago
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I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting much excitement where Newcastle United are concerned, on this 84th and final day of the 2021 summer transfer window.

How wrong can you be?

It still doesn’t look like a single senior signing will be made by Newcastle United on Tuesday (31 August 2021) BUT never say never where Mike Ashley is concerned, when it comes to self-harm at St James Park.

Despite such low (no!) expectations for Newcastle United fans ahead of deadline day, that was turned on its head with there apparently looking set to be one definite new arrival at St James Park, with Steve Bruce also believing that this could end up being two on Tuesday, to add to Joe Willock’s arrival 18 days ago on day 66 of the transfer window.

Various media were reporting the imminent arrival on Tyneside of Hamza Choudhury but these contributions from Luke Edwards on The Telegraph transfer deadline day blog, perfectly sum up the dramatic changes of direction this morning:

10.13am

‘Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce is set to land his second signing of the summer in the form of Leicester City midfielder Hamza Choudhury.

The 23 year-old will add some needed bite into the Newcastle midfield and will sign initially on loan although the move could become a permanent one next summer.

Interestingly, Bruce is also trying to persuade the club to sign at least one more player before the deadline with a centre back the most likely.

Having been on the receiving end of abuse from Newcastle fans during the 2-2 draw against Southampton, Bruce mood has darkened over the weekend as he watched most clubs in the bottom half of the table, including Norwich, Watford, Crystal Palace and Leeds United all make a flurry signings.’

11.18am

‘Newcastle United have pulled the plug on loan move for Leicester City midfielder Hamza Choudhury and are briefing transfer business is done in this window.

Given Leicester thought the midfielder was going to Newcastle, the player thought he was going to Newcastle and manager Steve Bruce was hopeful he would be allowed to make one loan signing before the window shut this does not reflect well on anyone.’

Luke Edwards going on to explain the situation as he now saw it via his Twitter account…:

“Someone now appears to be briefing that Choudhury is not signing and business is done in this window. That would mean Bruce has been denied a loan he thought he could have.

“Whatever you think of him, this is scandalous. Leicester thought this was happening. So did player.

“And by someone I mean the club… I predict trouble ahead.

“By my reckoning Newcastle United are only club in Premier League whose squad has not been strengthened from the end of last season… yes the permanent signing of Willock after loan is a positive but with Carroll and others gone, squad overall weaker than it was in May. Why?'”

“And yes if I were Bruce I’d quit because he has been shafted but he won’t.

“Rightly or wrongly he would think he was letting the players and his staff down. That he would betray Willock who he worked so hard to get to come.

“I will never understand the mind of a football manager.”

Luke Edwards has had the knack of winding Newcastle fans up on a continual basis, especially these past 25 months due to his blind devotion to close friend Steve Bruce.

However…I do think he is very much on the ball this morning and seeing what has (and hasn’t) happened all too clearly. Numerous other media now also reporting this u-turn on the Hamza Choudhury deal by Mike Ashley / Newcastle United.

Quite clearly, the situation appearing to be one of Mike Ashley and his people allowing Leicester City, Hamza Choudhury and Steve Bruce in particular, to think that the move was going to happen, only for Ashley to pull the rug from under them.

Edwards clearly also ‘briefed’ by ‘someone’ that Steve Bruce was also thinking he might be allowed a second loan signing on deadline day as well as the Leicester midfielder…

Now though, apparently / clearly nothing at all going to happen (with the exception of a loan deal arrival of 19 year old Santiago Munoz to the Under 23s, according to Sky Sports), Mike Ashley putting the block on even any loan signing(s) happening.

Where this leaves Steve Bruce is the big question.

On the face of it, the Newcastle United Head Coach left looking totally humiliated by Mike Ashley, if the above scenario has played out. It looking very much a chain of events that sees the owner of a club attempting to force a manager (head coach) into a position where to save any dignity they would resign.

Steve Bruce has always insisted he would never resign and Newcastle United fans seeing that as a declaration of Bruce never prepared to leave NUFC without a huge pay-off. A recent revelation was that Steve Bruce is on a never ending contract, that his original Newcastle United three year deal is annually topped up with another year added, so that it will never naturally come to an end unless he is sacked…or resigns.

Ahead of this summer transfer window, Steve Bruce spoke confidently with promises of at least three or four quality additions to be made to the Newcastle United squad and instead we had a farcical window of no signings at all and Mike Ashley waiting for a Joe Willock loan that was never going to be allowed by Arsenal.

The net result that Newcastle kicked off the season with not a single new signing in the matchday 20 man squad against West Ham,  Then even in the following games Joe Willock still hasn’t looked fully fit, which is no surprise after having next to no time on the pitch pre-season with Arsenal as he waited on Mike Ashley to allow a buying offer to be made.

What a total mess thanks to Mike Ashley pulling the strings at the very top and Steve Bruce yet again showing up as a manager / head coach who clearly isn’t Premier League standard and is wasting the strengths that Newcastle do have in their squad.

What happens next is anybody’s guess. Can Steve Bruce really stick it out for the cash, after this apparent Mike Ashley humiliation?

If so, will Mike Ashley then be willing to pay out more money, having very bizarrely agreed for Newcastle United to pay a reported £3m+ to secure Bruce and the other Steves from Sheffield Wednesday back in July 2019?

Already on deadline day we have seen West Ham and Brighton making £26m and £15m buys respectively, to go with the many other deals concluded in recent days by the likes of NUFC’s relegation rivals such as Watford, Norwich, Palace, Burnley etc.

Yet Mike Ashley even denying a loan deal (second summer signing) on deadline day, you couldn’t make it up.

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