Bruce must ‘box clever’ in the final week of the window as he looks to breath new life into his side, following a run of 10 games without a win in all competitions.
And it’s understood one avenue Bruce is exploring is whether to trim some members of his top flight squad in order to bring in at least one loan player before the window shuts at 11pm on Monday, February 1.
A number of players have been attracting interest this window, with former manager Sam Allardyce keen to Andy Carroll to West Brom. Dwight Gayle, Jacob Murphy and DeAndre Yedlin have also been mentioned as targets for other clubs while a potential Emil Krafth exit to Turkey has reportedly been put on hold.
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Bruce is keen, however, to hang on to Carroll while he has talked of attempting to persuade the club to extend the contracts of Gayle and Murphy, both of whom can leave for nothing in June.
Matt Ritchie is wanted by former club Bournemouth, according to reports from the south coast.
Letting either Ritchie or Gayle depart this window would shave considerable sums off the club’s wage budget and allow room for Bruce to add another player to his Premier League list.
A move for Jetro Willems, played down in the early part of the window, could be revisited either on a free or a loan from Eintracht Frankfurt.
Serious doubts remain about the long-term impact of the knee injury suffered at United, especially with the Netherlands international yet to kick a ball competitively since his recovery last year. Interest remains though, and a deal could well be brokered if that is followed up, and the club can alter Willems’ demands.
The need for a midfielder has been ramped up recently after selection issues arose between Bruce and Sean Longstaff. The club’s hierarchy accept this is a position they must strengthen.
Leicester City’s Hamza Choudhury is one player thought to be a target, while it remains unclear whether Brandon Williams will be allowed to depart Old Trafford.
Christian Atsu, Achraf Lazaar and Henri Saivet are all available for transfer.