Steve Bruce confirms 'imminent' departure at Newcastle United
Florian Lejeune is set to re-join Alaves on a permanent deal.
Lejeune returned to Newcastle United last week after spending a season on loan at the La Liga club. However, the defender left the club’s training camp in Yorkshire this week, and has travelled to Spain to complete a permanent move to Alaves.
Head coach Steve Bruce – who is yet to sign a player this summer – gave an update on the 30-year-old after this afternoon’s 1-0 defeat to National League North side York City.
“Florian’s on his way to Spain,” said Bruce. "It looks as if something is going to happen there. It’ll put a few quid in the coffers. He’s going back to Alaves where he was on loan, and there’s something imminent."
Lejeune, signed by Rafa Benitez from Eibar four years ago, suffered two serious knee injuries earlier in his Newcastle career.
United hope to re-sign Arsenal’s Joe Willock on loan.
"As I’ve said, it’s really Arsenal’s decision, and until Arsenal make a decision – a bit like all the big clubs, they have a look over pre-season – we’ll keep monitoring and badgering away,” Bruce told BBC Radio Newcastle. “We’d love to do something, but it’s still Arsenal’s call.”
Meanwhile, a late header from Michael Duckworth was the difference between the two sides at the LNER Community Stadium.
Newcastle created a number of chances, but lacked intensity after a training week on the training field.
“Listen, we’re disappointed with the result, of course, but it’s not all about the result,” said Bruce.
“We didn’t deserve to lose, but it just shows you if you don’t play with the intensity and the speed and the pace you normally do, then you get frustrating afternoons like we’ve just had.
"It’s all about fitness levels. We’ve had a really big week in terms of the levels of what they got up to, and the kilometres they’ve done, so it’s the first of getting ready for the challenge of four weeks away. It was a decent workout, apart from the result.”
Bruce, without four senior goalkeepers, had handed 20-year-old Dan Langley his debut.