This comes via his interview with the Shields Gazette, with his latest comments suggesting he is more optimistic about bringing in quality signings and receiving backing from Mike Ashley than most Newcastle fans have been this summer!
Time will tell, but here’s what he’s had to say on all of the above, starting with an assessment of his transfer budget; rumoured to be around £30-£35m:
“We’re fortunate that we’ve got a budget of enough money to try and make sure we move forward.”
“I assure the supporters that we will be making headway in the transfer window so we can bring in that bit of quality that can make us better,”
“As I’ve said, things have changed. We have to box a bit clever. We have to be shrewd at what we do. That doesn’t just go for Newcastle.
“Covid has affected everybody, whether you run a football club or a grocery shop. Some of the smaller clubs might even go out of business.”
Player sales could well boost our budget, but considering Ashley often factors in wages and agent fees into the outgoing costs, even £35m plus player sales may not get us a great deal – especially when a proven striker will almost certainly cost north of £20m.
That said, perhaps Bruce believes he’ll have more to spend than the figures mentioned above and won’t have to shop around for nothing other than free agents and loans?
Here’s what he then told the Shields Gazette, revealing that Mike Ashley was ‘supportive’ of his summer plans during a conversation they had a few days after the 2019/20 season ended:
“I spoke to Mike immediately after the last game when he phoned in to thank all of our efforts over the season.
“I had a conversation two or three days after that. I know you always want the story on that whenever I speak to the owner. It’s been normal. I told him of our plans, what we’re trying to do and what we’d like to do, and he was supportive of it.”
It feels like Steve Bruce has more faith in Ashley than we do, that’s for sure!
Perhaps Ashley will protect his asset and allow us to sign the striker we so desperately need this summer to stay up, although I am not expecting much beyond that – despite us needing another left-back, holding midfielder to protect us when Hayden’s out and winger to give us another option in attack.
Who knows, but these are at least some encouraging words from Bruce a few days after he promised fans via Sky Sports News that “2, 3 or 4” will follow Hendrick through the door at St James’ Park.