STEVE BRUCE has reiterated his desire to lead Newcastle United next season no matter what happens with the club’s ownership situation – and once again urged the Premier League to provide some clarity about the fate of Amanda Staveley’s £300m takeover bid.

Premier League chief executive, Richard Masters, addressed a House of Commons culture select committee yesterday and expressed a hope that the governing body’s owners and directors’ test into Staveley’s Saudi-Arabia-backed attempt to buy Newcastle from Mike Ashley would be concluded “shortly”. However, Masters also described the Magpies’ current off-field position as “complicated”.

On the pitch, Newcastle return to action at Bournemouth this evening, but with their Premier League safety all-but-assured with seven games remaining, thoughts are inevitably turning to the future.

All major decisions have been shelved until the takeover situation is resolved, but whether it is Staveley, Ashley or someone else in charge next season, Bruce is adamant he wants to remain in his current managerial role.

“As I’ve repeatedly said, whatever’s best for Newcastle, I'm okay with it,” said Bruce, who is set to make a number of changes to his starting line-up at the Vitality Stadium tonight. “If that’s the best thing for Newcastle to move forward ,then that’s okay with me.

“Will I be Newcastle manager next year? I sincerely hope so. I really have enjoyed the challenge of this great club of ours, so I can only plan ahead, presume (nothing is going to change) and make sure that we still do the work we were going to do. How are we going to come back, when are we going to come back? All of those things.

“Then, of course, when the transfer window opens, what can we do to improve the squad going forward? I'll just carry on, soldier on and get on with it.”

Nevertheless, Bruce concedes that with the end of the season approaching, the longer the uncertainty continues, the more Newcastle will be at risk of falling behind their Premier League rivals.

Ashley and Lee Charnley have signed off on some important contractual matters in the last few days, with Andy Carroll and Javier Manquillo signing new long-term deals and Matty Longstaff penning a short-term extension that takes him to the end of the season.

Reserve goalkeeper Mark Gillespie has joined Newcastle as a free agent, but when it comes to making significant summer transfer moves, it is hard to imagine the Magpies being active participants in the market until the fate of Staveley’s approach becomes clear.

Speaking to Parliament’s digital, culture, media and sports committee yesterday morning, Masters acknowledged there was a great deal of “uncertainty” surrounding Newcastle but insisted there were “legal requirements that have to be observed”.

Nevertheless, with Staveley having agreed a deal with Ashley as long ago as March, Bruce feels it is high time the Premier League made a decision.

“Management is about forward planning, and that's why I said a week ago we need now for the decision to be made because we need the club to move forward,” he said. “The quicker (it is resolved), the better, and then we can all move on. Let’s hope there’s a decision soon.

“We can’t influence that and we can’t allow it to become an excuse. We’re all professional people and we just have to get on with it. But we need a decision to be made, so let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later.”

Tonight’s game is Newcastle’s first away match since the end of lockdown, and the logistical difficulties of playing an early-evening game on the south coast have proved challenging.

Both Newcastle and Bournemouth airports will extend their opening times this evening to enable the Magpies squad to fly home after the game, while special permission was granted for the team and coaching staff to spend last night in a hotel, as they would have for a ‘normal’ away fixture.

“The work that a lot of people have put in behind the scenes is incredible,” said Bruce. “Newcastle are keeping the airport open for us - Bournemouth are doing the same. We've hired a bigger plane to take us down there, and a hotel has been opened up especially for us.

“There has been a lot of logistics involved, so well done to all of these people who have worked tirelessly to try and make it as normal as possible so it can be business as usual.”