Bruce on Matty Longstaff: “The ball is in his court” as midfielder weighs up his future at St James’ Park
Last Updated: 14/07/20 11:27am
Steve Bruce says Newcastle need clarity over the proposed takeover of the club, but insisted it will be business as usual in their preparations for next season.
But while those connected with Newcastle are desperate for further updates on the timetable for when any takeover might be completed, Bruce is adamant it will not affect the build-up to next season.
“We all need clarity on that. I do, the club does, everybody does,” Bruce said. “We need a decision on that of course and then we can all take stock of that.
“If that happens then we’ll all see what the change is, if it doesn’t, then we have just got to try and prepare as best as we possibly can and get ready for next season. It’s quite simple.”
With Premier League clubs expected to agree that July 27 will mark the first day of the summer transfer window, there have been suggestions further delays could impact their recruitment plans.
However, Bruce believes every club will be affected by the uncertainties over coronavirus and that his side should not find themselves at a disadvantage.
“It’s going to be like that for most clubs – we’ve all been put on hold if you like after what’s happened,” Bruce said.
“We’re now getting to grasp the situation and what it is, we still don’t know if fans are going to get back for the start of next season.
“I think everybody will be cutting their cloth, we are not alone in it. However, we’ve got a big, important summer.
“We want to move on. We have got to try and identify who we would like to bring in to the club to keep improving, and we will always try and do that.”
Bruce: We want Longstaff to stay
Bruce has also rejected speculation he is not playing Matty Longstaff because the midfielder has yet to make a decision on his future.
The 20-year-old, who scored the winning goal on his Premier League debut against Manchester United in October, is out of contract at the end of the season.
He has been offered a new deal at St James’ Park amid reported interest from Udinese, but has struggled to make an impression since lockdown, prompting suggestions the contract situation is to blame for his lack of game time.
However, Bruce, who opted to play Fabian Schar in central midfield against Watford, said: “I played Fabian Schar because of his physicality. That’s why I’ve played Fab in there. He’s played in that position for his country who are eighth in the world.
“This debate that I’m not putting Matty in the team simply because of his contract, it’s not true.
“We’d all like Matty to stay and get things resolved, but the ball is in his court. But I’m certainly not picking a team with that in mind. I picked a team at Watford I thought could win the game.
“We’ve made him a huge offer, it’s up to the boy to commit himself.”