Steve Bruce predicts a 'big summer' at Newcastle United as Saudi takeover talk rumbles on

Steve Bruce is predicting a ‘big summer’ at Newcastle United despite the fact uncertainty reigns supreme on Tyneside.

Saturday, 18th July 2020, 5:00 pm

The Magpies’ 2020 so far has been dominated by talk of new owners, with Mike Ashley’s 13-year tenure looking like coming to an end.

But with the Premier League yet to make a call on whether the Saudi consortium, led by the Public Investment Fund, would prove fit and proper owners via their owners and directors test, the club remain in limbo on and off the field.

Bruce though, believes the truncated summer, with the transfer window extending to October but games starting far sooner, will be a big one for United.

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WATFORD, ENGLAND - JULY 11: Steve Bruce, Manager of Newcastle United is interviewed prior to the Premier League match between Watford FC and Newcastle United at Vicarage Road on July 11, 2020 in Watford, England.

The manager admits he is not keen to rest on his laurels at Newcastle, with Bruce keen to add to his squad despite all the uncertainty, given he’s not happy just accepting a mid-table finish in the Premier League again next year.

One year and a day on from his appointment at SJP, Bruce said: “I took over a year ago and we’re still going a year later. It could only happen to me that right in the middle of taking over Newcastle there’s a pandemic.

"I knew there were going to be storms and waves here, but I didn’t think we’d be here in July not having finished the season.

"The easy thing would have been to say no, don’t fancy that, it’s too hard a job. But that never came into my thinking. It’s a privilege and I was determined to enjoy it.

"There’s been some tough times, but when I see the teams fighting for their lives and that we can possibly catch, we’ve done okay. We’re never going to be satisfied to be mid-table though. It’s a big summer ahead and let’s see where that takes us.”

Bruce’s recent comments have been interpreted by fans as an acceptance of mediocrity by their manager, something they’ve become akin to under Ashley.

But Bruce is striving for more than just Premier League safety. He does not see that as something his club should be celebrating. And he hopes to improve on that next season, provided he’s still in the hotseat under new owners.

“Inwardly, I thought we were safe when we won at Southampton three or four months ago,” said Bruce.

"When I look at the bottom of the table, I’m delighted we’re not involved in it. There’s two or three teams above us we still could catch. Overall, I think we’ve done okay. My aim now is to keep trying to move the club forward and we’ll see where that takes us.”

Brighton host United at the Amex Stadium on Monday night, also looking to secure their Premier League safety.

Bruce admits he’s been impressed with what he’s seen from Graham Potter & Co so far this season.

“It’s fascinating to watch,” said Bruce.

"Graham has come in from Chris, who did a wonderful job over the years, and obviously has a different approach and style. They’ve totally changed their whole philosophy. Looking from afar, for Brighton to stay in the division is always going to be their first and foremost. They’ve done okay.”