According to The Athletic, Steve Bruce looks set to get around ‘£60-£80m‘ to spend this summer – but it must be on the “right players”.
As last summer proved – which included a £56.5m spend on Joelinton and Saint-Maximin – the club seem happy to spend big on ‘high potential’ players who fit into Mike Ashley’s transfer blue print.
This perhaps is the big reason Bruce may get the money to spend that Rafa didn’t; because he’s happy to work within a buying model Benitez was not.
Here’s a snippet from Chris Waugh’s latest piece for The Athletic, which suggests Bruce preferred not to spend for the sake of it in January in a bid to boost ‘his’ summer budget:
Sources insist Bruce, who spent the winter window trying in vain to bring in a stop-gap striker on loan, will have money to spend on the “right players” – which usually means those aged under 25 and from European markets — for the 2020-21 season.
Although owner Mike Ashley is understood to have told Bruce during a face-to-face meeting on Tyneside that he would be provided with funds during the mid-season market if necessary, the head coach resisted the temptation to sign players he did not believe would improve his squad. He was reassured those financial reserves would be rolled over to use in the next window.
In theory, that should mean a budget of between £60 million and £80 million (including agents’ fees, taxes and levies) is likely to be available this summer. However, Newcastle do not necessarily allocate funds in such a way; provisions can be made to commit additional resources earlier if a tantalising deal becomes a reality.
That is why a £35 million bid was placed for Boubakary Soumare in January, despite an almost £80 million outlay on attacking reinforcements during the previous two windows.
I say ‘his’ in inverted commas because it remains to be seen how much control Bruce has over the big money buys made by the club.
After all, we can’t honestly say the Joelinton deal or that ‘£35m’ bid for Boubakary Soumary in January was instigated by him? Maybe that’s how the majority of clubs work nowadays, but it seems clear they were eyed up long before he arrived by Steve Nickson and co.
Either way, let’s hope we show some ambition in the transfer market and keep a hold of our star men, with last summer’s loss of Perez and Rondon showing there’s only so much you can improve if you get rid of your two top scorers.