STEVE BRUCE has been told there will be money to strengthen Newcastle United’s squad in January – even if it means not spending big on players for the third window in a row.

After signing Miguel Almiron for £21m last January and then adding £40m striker Joelinton and £22m winger Allan Saint-Maximim in the summer, many Magpies supporters are wary of how much Mike Ashley might splash out in the New Year.

But Bruce, the Newcastle head coach, has been assured there will be a budget available to invest in his playing staff when the window reopens if the deals are right and it will improve the squad.

The Northern Echo: Newcastle United’s Jetro Willems, action against Mo Salah, could be joining permanently, as Steve Bruce plans for JanuaryNewcastle United’s Jetro Willems, action against Mo Salah, could be joining permanently, as Steve Bruce plans for January

The Newcastle boss is already being updated by the club’s recruitment team through head scout Steve Nickson and managing director Lee Charnley.

And the policy to target younger players with the potential to flourish and see their valuations rise remains in place, and two players under consideration have already emerged.

Trabzonspor goalkeeper Ugurcan Cakir is being watched by Newcastle following his impressive form in Turkey, where he has played every game this season.

The challenge facing Newcastle is that there are numerous other clubs keen on the 23-year-old, with sources close to Trabzonspor reporting that Liverpool and Tottenham have also been to watch the 23-year-old in action.

Cakir is rated in the £17m bracket already, which would seem high for Newcastle given Martin Dubravka is currently holding down the first team shirt at St James’ Park.

The Slovakian was linked with a move to Italy in the summer, although since then he has revealed that he has opened contract talks with Newcastle.

Queens Park Rangers left-back Ryan Manning is also being monitored by Newcastle. He would be a lot cheaper with a £3m valuation placed on him.

Manning has impressed since being asked to play further back by QPR boss Mark Warburton and after entering the final year of his contract – albeit with an option for a further year – Newcastle are one of those who are showing an interest.

One further consideration, though, is the future of Jetro Willems. The Dutchman has made a strong start to life in the North-East after joining from Eintracht Frankfurt on loan.

Willems, 25, could move to Newcastle on a permanent basis if all parties are satisfied with how things have gone, and Frankfurt have claimed over the weekend that the agreed fee stands at £10m rather than the £6m reported earlier this month.

Newcastle are still intent on bringing in young players and helping them develop, and Charnley has also admitted that he wants to ensure the Tyneside club boasts the best academy in the North-East.

That may seem obvious when they are the only Premier League club in the area, but Sunderland and Middlesbrough have both tended to produce a higher standard of player in recent times.

Charnley was speaking after Matty Longstaff burst on to the top-flight stage against Manchester United by hitting the winning goal playing alongside his brother Sean in midfield.

Charnley says: “Our vision is we want local boys to look at the academy and think it’s not going to be full of boys from London, Manchester or abroad. Between nine and 16, it will be an academy with boys predominantly from the local area. There will be exceptions but generally, it will be local.

“Other clubs may move boys around the country, sign them at 12, 13, 14, move their education. We’re not doing that. Consciously, we have made a decision not to do that and to give local boys the opportunity.”

That can raise question marks from supporters over a lack of ambition – or spending.

Charnley, who wants to produce a player for the first team every year, added: “People say it might be because of this reason (not wanting to spend money) or that but it’s not. It’s a conscious decision to get local boys because we want local boys to see what’s happened with Paul Dummett, Sean and Matty, and say that’s who they want to be.

“They’ll know, if they’re good enough and work hard enough, they’ll get an opportunity at their hometown club. That’s what we want.”