In his final press conference of the season a week ago, Steve Bruce said this when asked for an update on the transfer front:
“We’ve got one or two things in the fire right now who we’re hoping to bring in. We’ve got one or two things up our sleeve that we’re trying to do.
“Let’s hope we can pull them off. We’ve got competition.”
Seven long days later and the transfer window is now officially open.
The Saudi takeover may be all but over and our summer business yet to begin, however there’s been a few reports emerge which may well have revealed the identity of the “one or two” deals Bruce was referring to last Friday.
One is Arnaud Lusamba, the French midfielder who we’ve been in ‘advanced talks’ to sign on a free for a few months now if The Chronicle are to be believed.
He almost certainly appears to be one of the players Bruce is referring to, especially when we look set to lose Matty Longstaff, seems unlikely to keep Nabil Bentaleb and are yet to replace Mo Diame when you think about it.
Another player who’s emerged onto the scene and also fits the bill if we’re buying on a budget is Ryan Fraser.
He’s been a player we’ve been linked with for some time, and the Shields Gazette write today that the out of contract Scot will decide on his future soon after receiving offers from Newcastle, West Ham and Crystal Palace (Bruce did say we ‘faced competition’ for the mystery player’s signature).
Interestingly, The Chronicle’s Mark Douglas has also written in his latest piece that an unnamed signing is ‘close’, adding a bit more fuel to the fire here.
Two free agents may reek of bargain basement to some, but it’s common knowledge that we’ll be buying on a budget this summer, with us feeling the financial effects of COVID-19 and seemingly highly unlikely to spend big while Mike Ashley waits for a sale.
I could be way off, but it feels like this may well be the pair Bruce was referring to last Friday when you join the dots…