STEVE BRUCE will hold a transfer meeting with Lee Charnley and Steve Nickson next week, and is confident he can persuade the Newcastle United hierarchy to rethink their reluctance to sign older players with proven top-flight experience.

Bruce takes his Newcastle side to West Ham United this afternoon looking to secure what would be a third win of the season, but with the Magpies currently struggling just one place above the relegation zone, thoughts are already turning towards the January transfer window.

There is an acknowledgement that reinforcements could be required, but as has been the case with so many of his predecessors, Bruce appears to be on a collision course that will pit his own demands against the transfer policy adopted by Charnley and Mike Ashley.

Having had to rely on the likes of Joelinton and Allan Saint-Maximin, youngsters with no previous experience of the Premier League, the Magpies manager is keen to add some proven knowhow to the ranks.

However, Ashley has consistently refused to spend significant sums on players in their late 20s or 30s, preferring instead to target emerging youngsters with a potentially lucrative sell-on value.

A failure to marry the two viewpoints together was the biggest factor in the breakdown of the relationship between Rafael Benitez and those above him, and was also a source of considerable tension in the latter stages of Alan Pardew’s time on Tyneside.

At this stage, it is hard to see why Bruce would be any more persuasive than those who went before him, and despite Newcastle’s position close to the foot of the table, neither Ashley nor Charnley has shown signs of altering their position. Indeed, in his most recent public comments, Charnley was at pains to stress that the pair’s long-standing model remains in place.

Nevertheless, Bruce is ready to make his case, and will sit down with Charnley and Nickson, the club’s head of recruitment, to confirm his preferred targets.

“It’s always difficult in January, but if there’s somebody out there who can improve us, we’ll try to act,” said the Newcastle boss. “In terms of the big conversations, they’re still to come, but I know what I would like to have. Whether you get it is a different thing.

“Listen, we’ve signed older players in the past. How old’s (Fabian) Schar? Or (Federico) Fernandez? Or (Yoshinori) Muto? There’s a few where the club have brought more proven players in. Ki (Sung-yueng) is another one. He was a free transfer, but he was in his 30s.

“Look, if there’s a player out there who I think can improve us, and he’s 28, then I’ll knock on the door and I’ll make my case. If we can get him, brilliant. Sometimes, you have to go and get one or two players like that. If you can do the loan market as well, then that’s always an option too. There’s always somebody out there.”

Unlike in some previous years, Newcastle’s owners cannot be accused of having refused to spend money in the last 12 months. Joelinton’s £40m fee smashed the Magpies’ transfer record, which had already been broken in January when Miguel Almiron arrived from MLS side Atlanta United for £21m.

The debate is whether the money has been invested wisely, and while Bruce accepts it is impossible for a club like Newcastle to compete at the very highest level in the global transfer market, he also appears to feel there is a need to be more flexible when it comes to drawing up a spending plan.

“There’s a relative risk (in signing young players), I can understand that, but then again, there’s a risk on anyone you sign,” he said. “Where can you get an established Premier League player at 22 or 23?

“Probably, we can’t get them. They are few and far between at that age. So, sometimes, you have to take a proven Premier League player. That’s something we will look at as well.”