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Newcastle: Centre-back additions a priority for Steve Bruce

Newcastle: Centre-back additions a priority for Steve Bruce -Newcastle United News

Steve Bruce ‘definitely wants to strengthen the heart of his defence’ in the summer transfer window, according to Chris Waugh.

The lowdown

With Premier League survival secured, Newcastle have been able to start planning for next season.

Mike Ashley’s ‘desperation’ to leave the club means he’s likely to offer only a limited transfer budget, so the Magpies may have to be shrewd in their recruitment.

Two Newcastle centre-backs – Fabian Schar and Federico Fernandez – are out of contract come the end of the season, although Newcastle have an option to extend Schar’s deal by a further year.

Bruce’s side have conceded 62 goals in their 36 league matches so far this season, as many as bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United.

The latest

Waugh was reacting to a report by his colleague at The Athletic, Peter Rutzler, who revealed that Newcastle are interested in Fulham’s Tosin Adarabioyo.

The 23-year-old Englishman has made 31 league appearances for the relegated Cottagers this season and is valued at £9million by Transfermarkt.

A centre-back is near the top of Bruce’s transfer window list, with Celtic’s £3.6million-rated Kristoffer Ajer also ‘looked at’.

The verdict

It’s not difficult to understand the manager’s concerns. Newcastle’s defensive record is little alarming, two centre-backs are out of contract and four of his senior options have turned or are about to turn 30, while Ajer and Adarabioyo are good talents with their best years ahead of them.

Budget limitations might make Ajer, who has only one year left on his contract, the more sensible target.

Adarabioyo’s deal runs until 2023 and even then Fulham have the option to extend it for a further year (via Transfermarkt).

In other news, Mike Ashley has identified a possible alternative to Bruce

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Article title: Newcastle: Centre-back additions a priority for Steve Bruce

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