It’s been a relatively quiet summer transfer window throughout the Premier League, and Newcastle United, like Chelsea and a few others including Manchester City, are one of several teams who have yet to make any major signings.
With preseason in full swing and the first game just three weeks away, that should be a cause for urgency, though in Newcastle’s case, they also have to content with some financial limitations. In fact, as head coach Steve Bruce explained recently, the loan market will be key for them.
“We haven’t got a lot of money. We won’t be breaking any transfer records, that’s for sure, but I will do my utmost to make sure we do what we can. Let’s use the market well and be creative.”
-Steve Bruce; source: The Athletic
Midfield is one Bruce’s biggest concerns and the Magpies are hoping to address that primarily with Joe Willock, who was fantastic for them at the end of last season, and whom they’re trying to bring in again, either on loan or a £20m transfer — though Arsenal are proving less willing this time around than back in January, and may be looking to keep the 21-year-old.
But Willock alone won’t do, and as the Athletic report, Newcastle are also interested in Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher (which we’ve heard before, along with several others like Leeds United) and Ross Barkley (which we haven’t), either in addition or as an alternative to him.
“We’re very, very short in the middle of the park at the minute. Very, very short. It’s something we need to address [but] it’s going to be very, very slow in terms of the transfer market. [...] It’s difficult for everybody at the moment.”
-Steve Bruce; source: Chronicle Live
Neither Gallagher nor Barkley are likely to stay at Chelsea for the season, though we’d probably prefer a transfer for the latter at this point. Gallagher has realistic first-team prospects in the long run with four years still left on his contract; the much older Barkley has just two and he didn’t exactly impress consistently enough at Aston Villa last year to engender much interest.