The four key Newcastle United decision makers leading summer transfer plans

The summer is yet young, but still the wild and wonderful world of transfer speculation has well and truly hit the ground running.

Monday, 14th June 2021, 12:30 pm

Newcastle United’s transfer budget is one particular area of speculation, with numbers ranging from zero to £50million reported as Steve Bruce’s cash pot to strengthen this window. The range that seems to be getting the most traction is £10-12million – and given Covid restrictions have hit the club budget hard, that seems to be in and around the right ball park.

If it does turn out to be that low, the Magpies will need to ‘box clever’ in the market and use every bit of their talents to squeeze the best out of the summer window.

But who are the men doing these deals? Here’s a look at the four key transfer decision makers at Newcastle United.

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Newcastle United's English owner Mike Ashley (C) watches during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Bournemouth at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on Novmeber 10, 2018.

Steve Bruce – the head coach

This isn’t one people like hearing, but is absolutely true, Bruce had a heavy hand in who United signed last summer and again in the last two January windows.

And it is expected that will continue.

Everyone who has walked through the door hasn’t been a 100% Bruce signing, but the head coach is involved in the process every step of the way.

Steve Nickson – the head of recruitment

Transfers are the former scout’s domain – and he’s had some big failures as well as some big success in the market recently.

Allan Saint-Maximin has to be seen as a real positive for United, while Joelinton is another who has failed to even get close to living up to his price tag.

Germany is a big hunting ground for Nickson still, despite the fact Nabil Bentaleb, Valentino Lazaro and Joelinton failed to pull up any trees despite impressing Nickson while operating in the Bundesliga.

Lee Charnley – the managing director

The one man band.

Charnley is the man who does the job of five at any other Premier League football club.

His role is the running of the football club, day-to-day – but, he does not seemingly have the power to press the button on deals without the ‘say so’ from above.

When deals are done this summer, Charnley will be heavily involved. Sorting the deal detail with clubs etc, falls under his remit, as well as sorting the money and offer with the player via agents.

A figure who often takes a lot of flak from the United faithful, it is hard to see Charnley in too negative a light really, especially as he was given the impossible task of balancing Newcastle success (relative) with the financial constraints of a United under Mike Ashley.

Justin Barnes – the ‘shadow director’

Qualified legal mind Barnes is Ashley’s Sports Direct right-hand man.

And despite not holding an official position at Newcastle United, Barnes is the man who is said to give the sign off on big financial deals, with Ashley.

Very little happens at the club without Barnes’ knowledge and he is seen as Charnley’s gatekeeper to Ashley’ cash. He does not, however, have a ‘hands on’ impact on footballing operations.

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