Steve Bruce has confirmed Newcastle United are yet to make a bid for transfer targets this summer.

Elsewhere, the NUFC Notebook understands the Magpies remains the preferred destination for Joe Willock should Arsenal sanction a summer exit.

Here are your Newcastle United headlines for July 31:

Bruce's transfer update

Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce says the Magpies have not made any cash bids for new players this summer.

It is understood that while there have been suggestions of Newcastle losing out in a bidding war on players such as Kristoffer Ajer, who left Celtic for Brentford, United have not reached the stage of submitting money offers - despite holding talks on valuations.

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce looks on during the pre-season friendly between Burton Albion and Newcastle United
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce looks on during the pre-season friendly between Burton Albion and Newcastle United

So far, Newcastle have only placed loan enquiries with Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe, who Bruce has wanted since the end of last term, and Arsenal's Joe Willock.

Willock hope

Newcastle United remains the preferred destination of Joe Willock if Arsenal opt to let him leave the Emirates this close season.

Joe Willock of Arsenal during a training session
Joe Willock of Arsenal during a training session

The Gunners are still spinning plates in the transfer market, leaving Newcastle to wait on their priority target. But Willock, the Notebook understands, remains keen on a Tyneside switch and the chance to prove himself in the Premier League in a season where he is aiming to put himself in contention for England's World Cup 2022 squad, appeals.

Longstaff vow

Sean Longstaff insists he is ready to start a long run in Steve Bruce's team at the start of the Premier League season.

The Geordie 23-year-old has played in all three pre-season games and with Jonjo Shelvey injured, stands a good chance of starting against West Ham two weeks on Sunday.

Sean Longstaff makes his first Newcastle United start since January.
Sean Longstaff makes his first Newcastle United start since January.

Longstaff was in and out of the team at United last season and at one stage missed two months after a 1-0 defeat at Sheffield United.

But after working his way back into Bruce's plans last term, Longstaff hopes the 2021/22 season can see him get back to his form of 2019 when he first burst on to the scene.

Zidane transfer tale

Kevin Keegan was urged to add Zinedine Zidane to Newcastle United's 'Entertainers' for just £1.2m - only for a club scout to decide the future Ballon d'Or winner was not up to standard.

That's the view of football agent Barry Silkman, who revealed he urged the former Magpies manager to snap up the Juventus and Real Madrid legend before he became a global superstar.

Former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane
Former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane

Zidane would go on to lift the World Cup and European Championships with France in 1998 and 2000 respectively, and would also rack up a host of major club honours in both Italy and France.

However, the midfielder was just 24-years-old and plying his trade in Ligue 1 with Bordeaux in January 1996 when he was brought to United's attention.

Supermac's column

Steve Bruce is fighting for his life and he had better do something drastic before it is too late.

His squad is painfully short of quality with Newcastle the only Premier League club so far to have failed to make a single signing this summer.

And unless a busload of new players suddenly pulls up at SJP then my old club are in dire trouble.

That being the case Bruce has to cut out the middle man, jump in his car, and get himself down into Mike Ashley's office for a face to face confrontation.

He cannot rely on Lee Charnley putting over the message strongly enough. What Ashley is hearing is probably a diluted version of Bruce's desperation.

Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce
Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce

A phone call is no good either. Ashley needs to see the body language, see the desperation in the eyes, with Bruce refusing to leave until he gets a positive answer.

Why does Bruce need to take such drastic action? Because this is his last chance.

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