A national newspaper reckons United is going to go tonto on attempting to bring Nice midfielder  Allan Saint-Maximin to United with a fee of £20m spoken about for the Frenchman. It is reported United has made a previous bid of £14m which has been rejected. There is also speculation elsewhere there may be another club interested in him. Uh-oh!

Bruce however did say the deal was a fair distance off. There’s two weeks to go before the transfer window closes.

However, The Express claim Wor Max (ahem) has already told his team-mates he’s heading for SJP. The same article confirms the encouraging noises that Isaac Hayden may be staying at United, which would be great news. Steve Bruce said of the possibility of Hayden staying:

“I’ve had a really positive conversation with Isaac. Hopefully, that’ll be resolved. He’s indicated to me that (staying on) is going to be the case. We all want him to stay. He is the type of player that I enjoy working with. Let’s hope things can progress positively. I certainly hope so”.

Elsewhere in The Express’ report we’re again being linked with Southampton crock Charlie Austin – click here There has also been speculation we really are interested in bringing another crock, Andy Carroll back to United. If they are on pay-per play deals they’ll likely end up owing United money. Which might be the logic after all.

The Star is reporting that United has an interest in bringing Liverpool’s 22-year-old attacking midfielder Harry Wilson to Tyneside on a loan deal. Wilson had a season with Derby Co last year where his side narrowly missed out on promotion to the Premier League before Lampard did the off back to Chelsea. Villa are also credited in a similar deal. Click here.

Needless to say, the less than jubilant welcome to Steve Bruce as Rafa Benitez’s replacement (sighs) is something of a hot topic with sections of the media and in particular with well-known Newcastle United experts (ahem) Talksport and their apparently endless supply of gob-shites and bulls knackas. This time King of the Whoppers, Adrian Durham has been exhorting Mags to get behind Steve Bruce because …. well …. roll of the drums …. he’s a Geordie. This is as ridiculous a proposition as what goons like Talksport and others broadcast only a few years ago to suggest we didn’t take to Pardew because he wasn’t a Geordie. Perhaps there is a common denominator between Bruce and Pardew of them being a bit rubbish and having nothing to do with the Place of Birth on their Birth Certificate. I know, mad suggestion that.

To be fair, Bruce himself has been saying much the same himself …. give me a chance because … I’m a Geordie ….. He should be embarrassed by this stuff to be quite honest.

We’ve had the full suite of this schtick which has extended to referencing his mother and father and I don’t doubt he might be borrowing from the John Carver Voice of Bobby Robson cringe stuff very soon.

If Steve Bruce was a good manager AND a Geordie that might have an added element but as things stand he looks very much like a very mediocre manager playing a bit of a desperate card to a public that rightly remains sceptical of him and the whole club after twelve years of crap. Bland statements to the press which are woefully unchallenged with no substance to them won’t cut it. Actions will speak louder than words – strengthening the squad, results and wider investment in all of the areas Rafa wanted to address.

Newcastle United is not about a man claiming to have realised  a conveniently stated ambition by managing Newcastle United (he denied this was the case when he took up the manager’s job at Sunderland – which suited him to say that then too). Supporters want to see the club progress, to challenge and to realise its potential. It is entirely rational to look at Steve Bruce’s record as a manager and Ashley’s tenure as owner and seriously doubt that they are the correct people to deliver that.

Anyway, stottie cakes Steve … tell everyone how much you love a stottie cake … that will get everyone onside.