Bruce responds to Saint-Maximin rumours, issues concerning transfer update & confirms Muto talks

Steve Bruce has insisted that illness kept Allan Saint-Maximin out of our 1-1 draw with Rotherham last night – pouring cold water on fears he was heading for the exit door instead.

Eyebrows were raised and panic was rife on social media when the Frenchman was left out of the squad, leaving some to speculate about his future after the reasons behind his absence were left ‘unspecified’ by some journalists prior to kick-off.

However, Bruce stated after the match that sickness was the only reason he never made the journey down to South Yorkshire on Tuesday.

The NUFC boss also offered a pretty uninspiring update on the transfer front – all but confirming we’re no closer to a breakthrough – and commented on Yoshinori Muto’s future following talks with Greek side Aris Thessaloniki.

Here’s what he’s had to say, starting with his response to the ASM rumours:

“(He’s) not well, he’s sick.

“It’s a disappointment, but we hope he’s not going to be out for too long.”

Bruce was then asked if there was any news on new signings, but his response suggested a much needed breakthrough was anything but imminent:

“I wish I could say ‘yes’ – but, we’re still bashing away.

“I’ll try to continue to do that.”

One player who could be heading out of the NUFC exit door is Yoshinori Muto following talks over a potential move to Greece.

That said, Bruce’s comments last night, following his return to training on Monday, suggest a loan move to Aris Thessaloniki may not materialise now he’s entering the final 12 months of his deal on Tyneside:

“There was a possibility of a loan move, but whether that’ll materialise, I’m not so sure because he’s only got a year left with us.

“We’ll see what happens in the next week or so.”

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