STEVE BRUCE’S arrival at Newcastle United will spark a spending spree to the tune of at least £50m, provided an agreement can be reached over the terms of a compensation package for Sheffield Wednesday.

That was the figure Rafa Benitez was going to have available to him had he decided to stay on at St James’ Park this summer and sources suggest Mike Ashley is ready to give Bruce’s reign a start with the same level of investment.

The difference is that Bruce is likely to be brought in without having the final say on transfer dealings, which was one of the big sticking points that Benitez was demanding changed under his watch.

Nevertheless Newcastle do look set to spend this summer once Benitez’s successor has been appointed, although the club have shown in the past how they will not pay over-the-odds for targets even if it leaves them short in certain areas.

Bruce has always had a big say on the transfer market wherever he has operated and he is sure to have his own ideas in mind on who he will want to bring in. He has tended to rely on experience in his squads.

Newcastle, though, will look to sign younger players with the potential to see their resale value grow, rather than opt for experience.

Hoffenheim striker Joelinton is a young Brazilian who has been heavily targeted by Newcastle, but his £40m price-tag would mean not investing too much in other areas of the squad. Wolves are keen too.

Newcastle are due to head to China tomorrow and will do so with Joselu, who is expected to return to Spain this month, Dwight Gayle and Yoshinori Muto as the players recognised as strikers. Bruce would look to improve that area.

There is also likely to be movement on the midfield front, with Wolves leading the chase for the unsettled Isaac Hayden. It remains to be seen whether the £30m raised by the sale of Ayoze Perez would be added to the £50m kitty for squad improvements.

For now, though, Newcastle are focused on getting a deal over the line to secure the services of Bruce.

They have attempted to reach a compensation agreement with Sheffield Wednesday as they look to wrap up the appointment. It is understood the former Sunderland boss could be named head coach.

Bruce has informed the hierarchy at Hillsborough that he wants to leave to take charge of the club he supported as a boy and managing director Lee Charnley has been negotiating with Owls chairman Dejphon Chansiri.

Bruce only signed a rolling one-year contract when he took charge of Sheffield Wednesday in January and is understood to be earning around £1m-a-year.  However, the Sheffield Wednesday hierarchy are holding out for more than £1m in compensation – there have been suggestions they are demanding as much as £5m in order to allow Bruce to leave – and further talks are planned.

The situation is complicated by the fact Bruce wants to take at least two key members of his backroom staff with him to Tyneside.  Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemence form an important part of his coaching set-up in Sheffield, and are expected to join the Corbridge-born boss if he returns to the North-East.

With an agreement not reached, Bruce took charge of training as usual on Friday morning at Wednesday’s Middlewood Road training base.

Newcastle officials were keen to push through a deal quickly because the first-team squad flies to China this weekend ahead of Wednesday’s Premier League Asia Trophy opener against Wolves on Wednesday.

As things stand, Ben Dawson and Neil Redfearn will be leading Newcastle in China, although Bruce could fly out at the start of next week if his visa requirements can be satisfied in time.