AFTER a meeting to discuss plans for the remaining days of the transfer window with Mike Ashley, Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce hopes to hear some good news on that recruitment front early next week.

The Magpies boss has outlined his wish to the club’s owner for new recruits, believing his squad could do with at least a couple of additions before the end of the month.

Newcastle’s extensive injury list, which was reduced following the return of Jamaal Lascelles and Matt Ritchie in midweek, has heightened the need for reinforcements as Bruce looks to keep his team away from relegation trouble.

Two of Newcastle’s leading attacking targets are Ademola Lookman and Jarrod Bowen. The demands from their employers, however, have made it hard for Newcastle to strike a deal.

While Bowen’s £20m-plus price-tag has prevented Newcastle from seriously pushing for him so far in January, it has also led to Bruce and his recruitment team looking at the continent.

Lookman is a player who would be easier to get in if Ashley would give the go-ahead to match the asking price that RB Leipzig have placed on him.

Newcastle have tried to secure his services on loan with a view to a permanent deal but, as revealed in The Northern Echo last week, the German league leaders are unwilling to do that.

Leipzig are demanding a fee somewhere in the region of the £22.5m they paid for him last summer after a successful loan in Germany.

Leipzig’s managing director Oliver Mitzlaff said: “Ademola Lookman is a player who has already proven to us that he has a lot of quality.

“It was certainly not an easy first round for him. Nonetheless, we believe in him and his quality. So we will certainly not loan Ademola Lookman.”

Lookman is believed to have formed part of the discussions Bruce has had with Ashley and his recruitment team, wanting to know the chances of matching the asking price for the England prospect this month.

That would mean Newcastle paying more than the £16m they paid for Michael Owen in 2005 for the fourth time inside a year – having gone the entire period without breaking the club record fee before that.

Newcastle have tried a few different avenues already in the first couple of weeks of the window but to no avail. Bruce knows, though, that even if he is successful then he will have to let players go because of the size of his squad.

Dwight Gayle remains one of the likeliest players to leave but the hamstring injury he sustained at Wolves last weekend has made a move more difficult. He is now expected back within three weeks rather than the initial six-week concern.

There is no shortage of clubs interested in signing him from the Championship either, with Leeds United the latest club to be credited with showing a degree of interest.

The second tier title chasers are have found it hard to persuade Southampton to let Che Adams leave on loan as they look find a replacement for Eddie Nketiah, who returned to Arsenal early from his stint at Elland Road.

Newcastle are interested in another striker themselves, even though Joelinton ended his 20-match drought against Rochdale in the FA Cup.