Newcastle could offer Steve Bruce a transfer budget of more than £90million this summer, according to Sky Sports.
The budget on offer to Rafa Benitez was widely seen to be one of the leading reasons why the Spaniard refused to sign a new contract with United, before departing Tyneside at the end of June and joining Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang.
Bruce has since quit his duties at Sheffield Wednesday to take up the formerly vacant position at St James’ Park, and Sky Sports reporter Rob Dorsett understands the Corbridge-born head coach will receive the same initial budget presented to Benitez.
It was understood Mike Ashley gave his blessing to Benitez breaking our club-record transfer again, having spent £21million to acquire Miguel Almiron in January.
The £50million base figure on offer to Bruce has since been boosted by player sales too, taking the amount to £80million following Ayoze Perez’s move to Leicester City when the Foxes triggered the Spaniard’s release clause. Newcastle also parted ways with Joselu for a reported £2.5million, and have £11million leftover from our January budget.
Altogether, our transfer war chest currently sits at £93.5million, although €40million (£36m) of that appears set for TSG Hoffenheim with negotiations over a move for Brazilian striker Joelinton progressing well.
That would theoretically leave Bruce with £57.5million to replace Perez’s creativity from midfielder and improve the remaining weak zones of the squad like at full-back. However, the reported fee we are due to pay for Joelinton is unlikely to include the forward’s wage or fees paid to his agent to broker the deal, which would take further sums out of the available funds.
It also remains to be seen just how much say the club actually allow Bruce to have in United’s transfer plans, given the board were preparing a package for Joelinton well in advance of his arrival, and were at loggerheads with Benitez over the forward.
Here’s how these Newcastle supporters reacted to Sky Sports suggesting Bruce’s budget will be in excess of £90million…