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Bruce must deliver the spectacular at NUFC or risks missing 6 ft 2 talent in summer – opinion

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Steve Bruce must deliver the spectacular at Newcastle United during his maiden campaign at the helm, otherwise risks missing out on January target LOSC Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare come the summer window.

The boss revealed on Deadline Day that the Toon had seen a near-club-record offer accepted ahead of the winter market slamming shut, only to be turned away by his number one target.

Bruce was coy with the details of whom he had been targeting, but it was soon noted to be Soumare and that Les Dogues had accepted a £45million bid.

Soumare opted against a switch from the French top-flight for life in the North East of England, having previously stated a desire to help Christophe Galtier’s side challenge for Champions League qualification, but his situation may be revisited at the close of the campaign.

A second attempt at landing the 6 ft 2 midfield star in the summer will likely not be straightforward, though, as French outlet Le10 Sport understand Soumare has his eyes set on a move to the Premier League but to join Liverpool or failing that, Manchester United.

Both clubs have been closely monitoring Soumare’s progress this season, although neither has yet made advances to Lille to discuss the potential of a transfer.

Soumare ‘hopes’ that will change in the coming months, with Liverpool challenging for their first Premier League honour and Manchester United in need of a new identity after years in the shadow of their inner-city rivals Manchester City.

Should Bruce revisit Soumare in the summer?





But hope is not yet lost for Bruce, having signalled his intent to sign Soumare early and the club clearly in a position to finance a packing Le10 Sport understand would have cost €60m (£50.8m) including potential add-ons.

What the gaffer must do, though, is to deliver the spectacular at St. James’ Park amid a time when the first-team’s performances have been described as ‘abysmal’ and ‘terrible in every area’.

That spectacular would be to bring silverware back to the North East or to secure a place in next season’s Europa League, as while UEFA’s secondary club competition does not hold the same allure as the Champions League, a place in the tournament would show that the club are on the up.

United have not competed in any UEFA tournament since reaching the Europa League Quarter-Final in the 2012/13 season, and last touched top-tier silverware in 1955 when we lifted our sixth FA Cup.

Saturday’s draw with Norwich City may have been dire to watch, but avoiding defeat kept Bruce’s Toon within six points of fifth place and have an FA Cup Fifth Round tie with West Bromwich Albion to come, should we beat Oxford on Tuesday night in our Fourth Round Replay.

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