Newcastle boss Bruce set for tricky transfer window as Ashley sets budget

Newcastle United are in for another difficult summer transfer window with reports that chairman Mike Ashley is set to hand manager Steve Bruce a bizarrely low transfer budget.

It is understood that the Tyneside club will have £12million to spend on bringing players in plus any extra revenue they can generate through player sales.

One such player is Allan Saint-Maximin, for whom Newcastle have said will listen to offers over £70million.

Having signed a long-term deal with the club in October 2020, Newcastle can afford to play hardball with one of their prized assets; Saint-Maximin's contract doesn't run out until 2026.

Newcastle will demand more than four times what they forked out for the Frenchman two years ago. The initial deal with OGC Nice was £16.5 million rising to £20 million with additional add-ons.

With a measly transfer budget available, Bruce looks set for another season of player loans and smart spending.

Joe Willock is one player Toon fans are screaming out to sign permanently following a successful spell on-loan from Arsenal; Willock scored in seven successive Premier League matches towards the back end of the season.

Newcastle legend Alan Shearer has spoken out about the 'no brainer' signing, urging the club to 'break the bank' in order to strike a deal for the 21-year-old.

Bruce himself is also insistent he will do everything he can to lure Willock back to St James' Park:

"We will try to test their resolve,” the former Manchester United defender said in his pre-match conference ahead of the Magpies’ trip to Fulham.

"We will try our utmost. We must respect he's Arsenal's player and he's 21.

"My job is always to knock the door and, believe me, I will knock the door as hard as I can. That's my job but, usually, I go through my CEO, Lee, and he's fed up of me knocking the door.”

Though at this stage it must be said a deal looks unlikely due to the small budget Bruce has been afforded.

One name the Magpies have been linked with is current Celtic and Norwegian centre-back Kristoffer Ajer. Bruce is reportedly closing in on an £8million transfer to St James' Park.

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The three-time Scottish Premiership winner would add the defensive cover Newcastle so desperately need – only four teams shipped more than the Magpies during the 2020/21 Premier League season.

Despite Ajer being a much needed figure in the Toon backline, the transfer would see two-thirds of Newcastle's £12 million budget wiped-out straight away.

READ MORE: Mikel Arteta and Steve Bruce disagree over Joe Willock's Arsenal future

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