An intriguing piece has emerged on the transfer front from Sky Sports’ Keith Downie.
He reveals that Steve Bruce not only ‘charmed’ Mike Ashley into relaxing his transfer policy in order to sign a 28-year-old Callum Wilson, but also convinced the NUFC owner to up his summer budget by over £10m – from £30m to ‘more than £40m’.
Moving forward, Downie reveals that Bruce is still looking for at least TWO more signings after our £35m spend on Wilson, Fraser and Lewis this week, stating that he may get ‘creative’ in his pursuit of a centre-back and striker by utilising the loan deals available to use.
Interestingly, two players that are named as loan targets in the striking department are Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster and Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah.
Here’s some of the key snippets from his in-depth transfer piece on all things NUFC for Sky Sports:
“It says a lot about Steve Bruce’s man-management skills and powers of persuasion that he has managed to coax even the most single-minded of men to change their long-standing traits.
Make no mistake, the Newcastle United manager has done what many others have failed to do before him: he’s charmed Mike Ashley into relaxing his transfer policy after 13 years at the helm.
Ashley upped Bruce’s budget from £30m to more than £40m after a personal plea from his manager to allow him to bring in his key targets.
Without a doubt, Bruce has worked on his employer and convinced him that he knows best for the way forward for a club still reeling from the takeover grounding to a halt.
Bruce has managed to persuade Ashley that the best is still to come from Wilson, and that he will score the goals to take Newcastle back up into the top half of the league again.
Bruce made the plea for players with Premier League experience – and that’s what he has got.
Fraser, Lewis and Jeff Hendrick are also players Bruce made clear he wanted to bring to the club. British and Irish-style players who are ready to walk into the first team without time to adjust.
He still has two loan deals to be creative with. Expect one to be used on a centre-back, while there is interest in young strikers Rhian Brewster and Eddie Nketiah at Liverpool and Arsenal respectively.
But the bulk of the club’s spending is over for this window, after a manic few days on Tyneside.“
A part of me wonders why on earth Ashley will back Bruce with around £100m of signings in just over 12 months yet barely allow Benitez more than one £15m plus signing in several years, but you can’t knock the current NUFC boss’ ability to charm him into deal he never would’ve sanctioned under the Spaniard.
With Holding’s move from Arsenal seemingly off and another striker needed following Gayle’s long-term injury, let’s hope we can have some joy in the loan market when fringe players at ‘big six’ sides become available in the coming weeks.
That being said, I get the feeling we’ll have to trim some of the excess fat off of our squad before anymore permanent signings will be sanctioned, with the likes of Lejeune, Muto, Atsu, Yedlin, Lazaar, Saivet and Aarons all on decent money but not in Bruce’s immediate plans.