Steve Bruce issues transfer update as Newcastle United pursue deals for Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser and Jamal Lewis

Steve Bruce has given an update on the injury problems which have decimated his squad – as Newcastle United close in on three transfer targets.
Steve Bruce.Steve Bruce.
Steve Bruce.

The club is working on deals for Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser and Jamal Lewis ahead of Saturday’s Premier League season-opener against West Ham United.

Newcastle were beaten 1-0 by Stoke City at St James’s Park yesterday in what was the club’s final friendly. The media were not allowed into St James's Park for the fixture, with the club’s entire pre-season programme having been played behind closed doors.

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Bruce has already lost Dwight Gayle and Martin Dubravka to long-term injuries, while a number of players missed the game with minor problems.

"The good part is that we picked up no injuries,” said United’s head coach.

"We’ve had a very difficult couple of weeks in terms of people who we thought were going to be OK after lockdown, people like Dummy (Paul Dummett) and Ciaran Clark.

"We’ve picked up injuries, which were unfortunate. Dwight (Gayle) got injured some 10 days ago, has an operation, which will rule him out for at least three or four months.

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"So that’s been a disappointment, all in all it’s been a very difficult couple of weeks. We can’t deny that. However, we’ve got one or two things working behind the scenes in terms of players coming in.”

Newcastle have bid £20million for 28-year-old Bournemouth striker Wilson, also a target for Aston Villa, while 26-year-old winger Fraser, a free agent after leaving the Vitality Stadium this summer, arrived on Tyneside for talks on Friday.

The club has also reportedly had a bid accepted for 22-year-old Lewis by Norwich City.

"I think it’s been publicised, and I think all the supporters are eager to see it happen,” Bruce told NUFC TV. “We’re close to one or two things, so let’s hope, in the next 24 hours, 48 hours, we can bring one or two in.”

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Meanwhile, Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall has spoken about Wilson’s future.

“If he stays, I’ll be absolutely delighted,” said Tindall. “Or if he gets an opportunity to go and play at the highest level, he certainly deserves it for the hard work that he’s put in.”