Steve Bruce has revealed that he can’t sanction a move for Newcastle defender Ciaran Clark to leave the club this summer.
The Irish international was recently reported by Football Insider to have attracted interest from Stoke City, who are suggested to have joined Bristol City and Crystal Palace in the hunt for the defensive enforcer.
Speaking after Newcastle’s pre-season victory against Hibernian, as quoted by journalist Matthew Raisbeck on his personal Twitter account, Bruce confirmed that he has had a chat with the 29-year-old and will now “move on.”
Bruce: “The way we are with the injury to Lejeune and playing with three centre backs, if I let something happen to Ciaran Clark, we’d leave ourselves a bit short. I can’t really do that… I’ve had a quiet word with him and we move on.” #NUFC @bbcnewcastle
— Matthew Raisbeck (@raisbeck10) July 30, 2019
The problem at Newcastle at this current moment in time is securing a number of incoming signings. Should Bruce start to sanction exits from the North East, the Magpies could be in a sticky situation with Joelinton being their only signing to feature so far in pre-season. After losing both Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon, their attacking ranks are very bare, with Dwight Gayle and Yoshinori Muto as their backup strikers. The potential exit of Clark could have seen them in a similar position in defence, with the 29-year-old their main back-up central defender, with Paul Dummett, regularly a left-back, being shoehorned into the heart of defence last season. The fact that Bruce has had a chat with Clark would suggest that the Irishman is happy to stay at St James’ Park despite lack of playing time – in a bid to try and force his way into the new manager’s plans ahead of the new Premier League season.