According to Sky Sports, Steve Bruce wants to see the club sign Manchester United defender Chris Smalling this summer.
This comes from their North-East reporter Keith Downie, who claims the forgotten Red Devil centre-back is at the top of the NUFC boss’ wanted list, with him keen to ‘buy British’ ahead of the new 2020/21 season.
Lee Ryder reported on Friday that Smalling had been offered our way, however there were several details in that piece that make me believe this may be a non starter.
Not only is he 30, he’s said to be on a whopping £130,000-per-week at Old Trafford and it appears they want to sell him – not loan him out again following a successful stint at Roma.
Does Bruce REALLY want to spend a decent chunk of his budget (and see the club give away a big chunk of their wage allowance) on yet another centre-back?
I’m sure he’d improve us, but while Ashley remains at NUFC and our budget lingers around the £30m mark, I don’t see us pursuing what would be an expensive deal for Smalling in a position that’s not in desperate need of strengthening when a big money move for a proven striker MUST take priority.
We may well need another centre-back if Schar and Lejeune are moved on, but surely Smalling can only come into the equation if there’s a loan deal on offer here?
I say that because Lee Ryder’s latest piece suggested Man Utd were not about to let him leave on the cheap following an impressive spell in Serie A, with a £20m fee mentioned.
A decent player who could be a good signing, but it feels like a non starter based on our budget and transfer policy under the current regime.