Steve Bruce confirms Newcastle United's summer transfer business is 'on hold'

Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce has confirmed the Magpies’ summer transfer business is ‘on hold’.

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce looks on during the pre-season friendly between Burton Albion and Newcastle United at the Pirelli Stadium on July 30, 2021 in Burton-upon-Trent, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

United are the only Premier League club yet to make a signing this summer – and having lost the likes of Joe Willock and Andy Carroll find themselves in a weaker position than they ended the 2020/21 season.

And while talk of moves for the likes of Axel Tuanzebe have been mooted in the media, Bruce confirmed to National World that the club are yet to make a bid for any player so far this window.

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Bruce is however hopeful United will make signings – with ‘two or three’ hoped for by the time the window slams shut at 11pm on Tuesday, August 31.

Steve Bruce manager of Newcastle United with Joe Willock after the Premier League match between Fulham and Newcastle United at Craven Cottage on May 23, 2021 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

But Bruce also admits United’s summer business is ‘effectively’ on hold until Mikel Arteta makes a decision on the future of Arsenal midfielder Willock – with Newcastle’s budget tight and domestic loan slots set to be key in the club’s push for improvement.

Bruce: ‘We’ve got to make a decision’

“It is important, we try to make supporters understand – we haven’t made any bids for any player,” said Bruce.

“Joe has been our number one target – and until we make that cut off with that, we have to respect Arsenal, of course, he is their player. Until that bridge is burned, I will continue to try and get Joe.

“We have got one or two irons in the fire, we have to make sure if that doesn’t happen then we have got one who we think is our second choice. We will see what develops over the next few days.

“Obviously, when we are ticking towards the start of the season and the end of the window, we have got to make a decision. When that decision is made is the patience part.

When asked if the Willock decision has put United’s business on hold, Bruce confirmed: “Effectively, yes.”

Steve Bruce’s contract surprise – extension questions answered

Steve Bruce’s contract has been a talking point among Newcastle United fans in recent days, with suggestions the Magpies’ head coach had been offered and would sign a new three-year deal.

But Bruce himself has put that talk to rest – by confirming his current United deal does NOT end this year, having signed an “initial” three-year contract when he arrived.

“I honestly do not know where it came from (or) where it is. Is it three years or is it eight years?” Bruce joked.

"No, honestly, that is news to me.”

Asked if he’d had talks with the club about a new deal, he said: “No, no. Definitely not.”

Then when quizzed as to whether his deal ends this season, Bruce replied with: “No, no.”

Allan Saint-Maximin fears played down

Meanwhile, United sources have moved to play down talk of a Newcastle exit for forward Allan Saint-Maximin.

The Frenchman remains out with an illness, having missed the Magpies’ last two summer friendlies with Rotherham United and Burton Albion.

However, ASM could return for United’s clash with Norwich City next week, so too Miguel Almiron and Callum Wilson.