Steve Bruce has confirmed the club are taking a close look at free agents once again this summer, with our recruitment team eyeing value deals as we head into another transfer window with a limited budget.
With the end of the season approaching and our top flight status retained, preparations are underway ahead of the 2021/22 campaign, with Bruce confirming weekly talks with chief scout Steve Nickson.
While an air of uncertainty lingers as long as the takeover mystery remains unsolved, Bruce has given signs that we won’t have much to play with should Mike Ashley still be at the helm, believing COVID will leave just about every club with restricted spending this summer.
Here is what he’s had to say when quizzed on potential incomings, confirming the free agent market is an ‘attractive’ one
“Look, I have a meeting with Steve Nickson every week when he comes into the training ground. That’s a constant.
“They’ll be looking at Bosmans, which are always attractive for obvious reasons.
“The really big decisions have been put on hold until we secure our Premier League status. I think that’s only right.
“Our total focus is on the club and keeping it in the division. Let’s be fair, a few weeks ago we were really up against it.
“The big, huge discussions should only take place when we have (mathematically) secured our Premier League status, when we know where we are.”
“Every club will be the same.
“But I have to say to everybody, I can’t see there being swathes of money anywhere in the Premier League.
“The discussions I’ve had with other managers, the situation is the same. The football world has lost millions during Covid.
“I can’t see a load of money being spent this summer.”
Some will see these as damning quotes from Bruce, but there could be some value in the market if we make the right moves.
After all, saving a few pennies via one or two bargain buys could give us the freedom to make a cash bid for Joe Willock? Following his Friday night showing, another move for Joe Willock HAS to be agreed for next season.
High earners like Christian Atsu and Henri Saivet will also be offloaded to provide wriggle room on the wage bill, with the likes of Andy Carroll also likely to be released according to recent reports.
As for the free agents we could look at, The Chronicle revealed last month that we have been keeping tabs on ex-Mag Andros Townsend, who’s expected to leave Crystal Palace this summer, Sheffield United’s John Lundstram and former loan star Jetro Willems.