Bruce also hinted that he hasn’t given up hope of bringing Danny Rose back to the club, also confirming that forgotten trio Henri Saivet, Rolando Aarons and Achraf Lazaar have all been placed on the transfer list.
Back to Hendrick, Bruce cited the 28-year-old’s Premier League experience, as well as the financial burden Bentaleb would’ve brought, as the key reason for preferring the Irishman’s signature.
Here’s what Bruce told Lee Ryder when asked about Bentaleb’s future following Hendrick’s imminent arrival:
“I have never said no to anything just yet.
“But with Nabil going back and the sort of money that Nabil was going to be at.
“I thought maybe Jeff Hendrick was a better bet with his experience and know-how in the Premier League.
“Of course, the beauty is he is on a Bosman, in that case we have like for like.”
The Chronicle had previously reported that Bentaleb’s wage demands were around £80,000, not to mention the initial option to buy fee was £9m, according to Sky Sports’ Keith Downie.
There was talk that Schalke were now prepared to sell the Algerian at a significantly cut-price fee after his fairly uninspiring loan spell at Newcastle, but it seems no such deal has been negotiated.
As for Danny Rose, it seems as though there is still a chance the England international extends his stay on Tyneside.
Here’s what Bruce had to say about the Spurs left-back when speaking to The Chronicle’s Lee Ryder:
“On Danny Rose, we will have a look to see what will happen in the next few weeks.
“As I said, we’ve got to box clever because of the situation we are all in.”
While a left-back is needed, Rose’s ordinary loan spell at St James’ Park has left many fans hoping to see us return for Jetro Willems instead.
As for the transfer listed trio, here’s what Bruce then had to say about Saivet, Aarons and Lazaar’s future, starting with the Senegalese midfielder who’s been spotted training with the first-team in York:
“He (Saivet) is a really good professional.
“But I think it is fair to say that we need to go and find him a club. He’s not played for a long, long time for this club.
“I feel for the lad because it’s not his fault, unfortunately. He trains everyday and he’s a really good pro.
“We hope we can get him fixed up over the next few weeks.”
“I think it’s the same thing for Rolando and Achraf, they have to be finding homes if they possibly can.
“It’s a difficult situation that they find themselves in too. It’s not their fault. But we need to find them a home.”
After Saivet was paid £35,000-per-week last season to simply train, with Aarons having a spell in Scotland with Motherwell and Lazaar loaned out to Italy, let’s hope all three can be moved on permanently this summer.
It would not only free up space in our squad, but some much needed wiggle room when it comes to our wage bill!