Steve Bruce predicting a quiet end to the transfer window at Newcastle

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Newcastle manager Steve Bruce is not expecting a busy end to the summer transfer window at St James’ Park.

Bruce is still on the look-out for a potential loan signing but has all but ruled out a permanent acquisition in the final week of trading before next week’s deadline.

Bruce, who has already signed Joe Willock from Arsenal, feels the club and the market in general are being hampered by financial issues.

He has an additional problem in that his two first-choice goalkeepers are sidelined, meaning space in his 25-man Premier League squad is limited as he includes more back-up keeping options.

Speaking at a press conference to preview Wednesday’s Carabao Cup clash against Burnley, Bruce said: “Because of the goalkeeping, I am toying with the idea of naming four (keepers) in the squad, which is unheard of.

“If we do a loan deal there is then no room in the squad without leaving somebody out. It is a difficult situation as well with finances.

“If there is a loan deal (possible for a player) who can help us that is what we will try and do but, as for bringing in somebody permanently, I can say that is probably not going to happen.

“There is still a little bit of work to do but it has been difficult for all the clubs all summer. I have never known it so quiet and difficult for a lot of clubs with finances.”

Bruce was asked about reports linking the club with Leicester midfielder Hamza Choudhury but said it would be “unfair to mention” individual players.

Bruce expects number one goalkeeper Martin Dubravka to be sidelined for at least another two months.

The Slovakia international underwent foot surgery in the summer and has suffered a setback in his recovery.

Bruce said: “There is no time limit but we are hoping in eight weeks, maybe. Unfortunately his wound has got infected which is going to set him back another couple of weeks.”

Freddie Woodman, who has spent the past two seasons on loan at Swansea and may have gone out again this term, is set to continue in goal with Karl Darlow still out of action after suffering from Covid-19.

Bruce said: “It is a case with Karl of seeing how his physical wellbeing is. In the past I have had a player who took at least six weeks. We have just got to be patient.”

In terms of outgoings, one loan deal could happen with 21-year-old Matty Longstaff set to be allowed out to gain experience elsewhere.

Bruce said: “It is something we have decided might be best for Matty. We will see in the next week. We have had one or two enquiries. We hope for him something happens in the next couple of days.”

Bruce is planning to rotate for the second-round tie against the Clarets but insists the side will not be a weak one as the Magpies chase their first win of the campaign.

He said: “We will be making changes because I’ve got a lot of lads that need to play and get some minutes under their belt. It is the ideal opportunity but we will be very, very strong.”

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