Great Britain

Steve Bruce having to be patient as Newcastle wait on big clubs

NEWCASTLE United are expected to conduct their transfer business late in the window as they wait to see what the wealthier clubs do with their fringe players.

The Magpies are yet to bring any new signings into the club over the summer with the season kicking off in less than three weeks time and injuries in the squad have left them desperately short in a number of positions. 

Arsenal's Joe Willock remains a top priority but manager Steve Bruce has drawn an ultimatum and said there needs to be a cut off point for a decision to be made by his club and the player.

Recently, Newcastle United have been linked with a move for Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe, who Bruce managed during his time at Aston Villa. 

The 23-year-old has struggled to hold down a regular place in the United side and the imminent arrival of Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane will push him further out the door. 

The departure of centre-back Florian Lejuene could pave the way for a deal to be done, with the Frenchman sealing a move back to Alaves. 

However, Bruce said he didn't want to comment on another club's player after the midweek draw with Rotherham United. Tuanzebe made 19 appearances in a Manchester United shirt last season and could be made available by United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

While fans voiced their frustration at the teams 1-1 pre-season draw with the Millers, Bruce fully understands their emotion at the team's lack of activity in the transfer window. 

“I’m sure they are and it’s very very difficult" Bruce said.

“I’m a football manager and the one thing we want is better players, always. That’s my job.

“The one thing a football fan of any clubs wants to see is one or two new faces in pre-season.

“So we’re just going to have to be patient. After all that’s said I think we’ll do our business late.

“We’ve got to wait for the wealthier clubs to see what they’re doing and see what they’re doing with their young ones and what they’re doing with their squads.

“I’ve been here before in this. I didn’t think I’d quite be in it at Newcastle but that’s the way we are.”

Newcastle are actively pursuing Joe Willock as their number one target in the transfer window but the Newcastle boss says he has other options available to him if the Gunners midfielder failed to make a return to Tyneside. 

“I’ve said many times, it’s Arsenal’s player. Joe to decide but there has to be a cut off point where we can’t wait forever.

“We’ve got to be one or two other options of course which it would be wrong if I didn’t but Joe’s our first choice.

“We’re encouraged to keep bashing away but there come’s a cut off point.”

Willock wasn't in the starting eleven for Arsenal's friendly tie against Watford yesterday afternoon. Gunners boss Mikel Arteta was adamant he would be tested out during pre-season before a decision was made.

Elsewhere, Newcastle return to pre-season friendly action tomorrow night when they make the trip to League One Burton Albion. 

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