Following last night’s convincing 3-1 win at Hibernian, Steve Bruce gave some key transfer updates, sharing some mixed noises on both incomings and outgoings.
The good news is he’s certain Martin Dubravka is staying at the club, playing down the exit rumours and confirming he’ll start on Saturday vs St Etienne.
Meanwhile, Bruce also hopes to have ‘good news soon’ on incomings and suggests he’ll be keeping quiet until they have an ‘announcement’ to make to fans.
That said, the fact he’s still talking about ifs and buts and the idea that transfers take time is a bit worrying almost a week on from making the exact same comments. Is it a case of good things come to those who wait, or are these deals for the likes of Saint-Maximin and N’Soki at risk of stalling as we continue to haggle?
Here’s what Bruce has had to say on transfers, featuring his response to questions regarding Saint-Maximin, Dubravka, Clark and James Tavernier:
Bruce on transfers:
“We’re still working away well into the night and once we do (have a deal done) we’ll announce it to the supporters.
Hopefully, we’ll have some good news soon.”
Bruce has been using the word ‘hopefully’ a lot of late, but these comments fill me with some ‘hope’ that an announcement isn’t too far away now.
Bruce when asked if a new signing was ‘imminent’:
“I hope so. But, what’s imminent? 24 or 48 hours?
“These days, transfers seem to take an eternity. But, be patient – I’m still quietly confident we’ll manage to bring a few in.”
He’s ‘quietly confident’, yet we heard him use this exact line over a week ago – and we’ve had no major breakthrough since. Let’s hope our ‘patience’ really does pay off and these deals are nearing a positive conclusion.
Bruce on Saint-Maximin
“I’m never going to speak about any player until the deal is done so I really can’t comment on that.”
I’m torn on his response here. I find it a little bizarre that he’s refusing to speak about a player he CONFIRMED his interest in just over a week ago, however, on the flip side, I also wonder if he’s keeping his cards close to his chest on this one as we’re in serious talks and are closing in on a deal?
He did start (and score!) in Nice’s 6-1 defeat at Burnley last night, so this deal remains a bit of a mystery – despite many in the media suggesting it’s ‘close’.
Bruce on Dubravka’s absence
“Dubravka is fine. He’s at home. It was always our aim to give the two other lads 90 minutes.
“Martin will be in goal in Saturday. He is our number one goalkeeper and will remain so.
“The stuff that’s circulating about him is not true.”
“I’m delighted that we have Dubravka. There’s nothing sinister going on at all.”
This is a huge relief, with the combination of him failing to be in the squad for the majority of our pre-season, coupled with the constant rumours linking him with PSG being a real concern as of last night.
As Bruce states, he’ll now play vs St Etienne on Saturday and looks set to be our no.1 for the new season ahead.
Bruce on Ciaran Clark exit rumours
“That’s not going to happen at the moment.
“The way we are with the injury to Lejeune and playing with three centre backs, if I let something happen to Ciaran Clark, we’d leave ourselves a bit short.
“I can’t really do that… I’ve had a quiet word with him and we move on.”
The Chronicle claimed yesterday that Clark would be allowed to leave (with Palace and Bristol City keen) if a deal fo Stanley N’Soki came off – with the PSG talent being able to play at centre-back and left-back.
With Bruce’s comments in mind, it sounds like Clark won’t be leaving as things stand as the club are yet to get a move for his potential replacement ‘over the line’.
Bruce on James Tavernier:
“I really don’t know where that came from.
“I hate it when people talk abut my players so I’m not going to comment on anybody else’s.”
Based on his response here, it does NOT sound like the ex-Mag and current Rangers captain is a player we’re looking to sign over the next 8 days.