A few months after he landed the Newcastle United job, Steve Bruce had this to say about a recently released Mo Diame:
“I enjoyed working with Mo Diame. He was excellent for me and I believe he was excellent here.
“A very, very good player, but it was done and dusted before I came here.
“Certainly had I been here I would have tried to keep him. He’s a good player.”
Just over 18 months later, the Senegalese powerhouse is a free agent and on the lookout for a new club after leaving Qatari side Al-Ahli.
Considering we are crying out for some physicality in the middle of the park, coupled with the fact Bruce has worked with him before during his time at Hull City, this might just be an avenue he looks at given free agents are able to sign outside of the transfer window.
It’s unlikely and pretty underwhelming – big Mo has just turned 34 – but I’d like to bet the former Mag is offered our way in the coming weeks, especially after we missed out on a deadline day deal for Hamza Choudhury.
Another former NUFC midfielder Steve Bruce knows well is Nabil Bentaleb.
We’re really scraping the barrel here, as the 26-year-old struggled during his time on Tyneside and has done very little since, yet he too is currently a free agent.
Yet, The Chronicle claim he is being offered around and one club who will surely be contacted is ourselves.
Could Bruce be tempted? After all, he had this to say when the Algerian arrived from Schalke back in January last year:
“He’s somebody who I paid particular attention to when he was at Spurs, when he broke through and got a big-money move to Germany.
“With the numbers that we’ve got at the minute, he’s got a bit of experience and I think people will enjoy watching him play.
“He’ll come into the squad and I’m sure he’ll be a good acquisition for us.
“He’s gone from the Premier League to Schalke and played in the Champions League as well, so we’re delighted to get him. It’s a great signing.”
All I’m saying is, if Bruce can convince the club to sign a half-fit Andy Carroll, he might just be tempted by one of these two…