Revealed: Newcastle United's January transfer window strategy

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Newcastle United are looking to sign a midfielder in January – and the club is exploring the loan market.

Steve Bruce hopes to improve his squad in the January transfer window.

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“We have six centre-backs, three right-backs, but are a little bit short in midfield areas,” said Bruce. “So we’ll have a little look at that, and you’re always looking to add that bit of quality, wherever it is, and see if we can add.”

Steve Bruce.Steve Bruce.
Steve Bruce.

Bruce – whose side is 11th in the Premier League following Saturday's 2-1 win over Bournemouth – added that he would not sanction a signing unless he was convinced the player would improve the squad.

“Look, we’re like everybody else,” said Bruce. “We’re looking around, but the one thing I won't do is bring anyone in who isn’t going to improve us – and that’s key to it.

“I wouldn’t do that to the club – it’s not the right way. If there’s someone who can improve us, fine, if not let's be patient and get the right one. Certainly, in the summer, there’s a bigger pool of players than in January, but we must go with the market.”

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While there is some money to spend, the Gazette understands that the club is initially looking at the loan market.

Dwight Gayle.Dwight Gayle.
Dwight Gayle.

Bruce is keen for more legs in midfield, and head of recruitment Steve Nickson – who has been in South America on club business – has been looking at No10s.

The club has been linked with Genk striker Mbwana Samatta. While Samatta, 26, is on the club’s transfer radar, Bruce and Nickson aren’t prioritising a striker, though their position could change between now and the end of January.

There will be interest from the Championship in United striker Dwight Gayle, who has only played six minutes of league football so far this season. Gayle – who missed the start of the season with a calf injury – is under contract until 2021.

If the club does sign a player in January, then Bruce will have to cut someone from his 25-man Premier League squad.