Steve Bruce has confirmed that a new deal for Isaac Hayden is ‘in the pipeline’, also revealing that things are “bubbling away” on the transfer front, with him keen to secure one or two more ‘quality’ additions.
Bruce has also insisted that Dwight Gayle is in his plans and won’t be sold, with him suggesting that we are now well stocked in that department.
Firstly, here’s what he’s had to say about Hayden, revealing that a new contract is in place for the
“He’s up for staying. We want to give him a new deal.
“We hope to tie him to a new deal. It’s in the pipeline”
This really would be great news – especially when he looked all set to leave just a few months ago.
Bruce then discussed potential incomings ahead of the final 5 days of the transfer window, suggesting he’s now focusing on ‘quality’ additions with a few potential deals ‘bubbling away’:
“There’s one or two little areas where we can do something but it’s all about quality.
“A manager’s job is always to knock on the door (and ask for players).
“I’m delighted with what we’ve brought in – three bits of real quality – and anything else would be a bonus. But, I’m very, very pleased.
“There’s one or two little things bubbling away but we’ll see.”
If I had to guess, the arrival of a new right-back will be the big priority between now and Thursday, with the likes of Krafth and Tuanzebe linked.
Finally, Bruce hinted that he will NOT be looking to sign a new striker, saying we are ‘OK’ in that department with Joelinton, Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Muto and Gayle all able to play up top in our new 3-5-2 formation.
Here’s what he’s had to say when asked about his search for new forwards, insisting that Gayle is part of his plans and won’t be sold:
“We’re OK in that department. I’ve got five there.
“I want to keep him. Realistically, where can we improve on him?
“As I keep saying, you’re only as good as your strikers. In that areas we need a threat and Gayle has always been part of my plans.
“It’s a calf injury and it’s not reacting to treatment yet. We hoped he’d be ready after China but he’s gone backwards. It’s a disappointment because I like him. I’ve tried to buy him before but not been able to afford him!”
He makes a fair point – If we did ship out Gayle and looked to replace him with another striker, are we going to sign a better ‘back up’ option?
Meanwhile, Bruce confirmed that Saint-Maximin is ‘OK’ after he was spotted hobbling after the final whistle, however it doesn’t sound like Matt Ritchie will be fit in time for next Sunday’s visit of Arsenal.