NEWCASTLE UNITED are set for a key week of decision-making as their Premier League season finally draws to a conclusion.

The Magpies play their penultimate game of the campaign at Brighton’s Amex Stadium this evening before entertaining champions Liverpool in their final fixture on Sunday afternoon.

The club’s ownership situation remains in the hands of the Premier League, but even if the governing body do not conclude their owners and directors’ test this week, Newcastle officials will have to make some significant decisions in the next seven days.

Matty Longstaff’s future will finally become clear, with the midfielder’s contract extension due to come to an end in the immediate aftermath of the Liverpool game. Longstaff has repeatedly refused to sign Newcastle’s offer of a new deal, and is expected to confirm his departure, with Italian side Udinese still regarded as his likeliest destination.

“I think I’ve made my stance pretty clear,” said Steve Bruce. “We’ve done everything we can to keep him, it’s up to him now. We think a lot of him and his progress was fantastic up until Christmas. Then it’s got into far too long with negotiations and football shut down. It’s up to Matty. We can only ask that question and see. In the next week or so, we’ll find out if he’s going to stay or if he’s going to move on.”

Bruce will also make a final decision on Newcastle’s three loan players, with the Magpies manager keen to sign full-back Danny Rose on a permanent basis. Rose is interested in a full-time move to Tyneside, but Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is likely to drive a hard bargain given the England international still has a year of his current contract to run.

Newcastle are unlikely to trigger the £20m clause contained in Valentino Lazaro’s loan agreement with Inter Milan, but would potentially be interested in signing the Austrian on another loan deal next season. Nabil Bentaleb is unlikely to be retained, and is instead expected to return to his permanent employers, Schalke.

“I’ve got in my own mind what I want to do, but what you’ve got in your mind doesn’t always turn out in reality,” said Bruce. “We’ll speak about things, but we also have to have negotiations with their respective clubs to see where they stand and what they want.

“We must realise that the three loan players belong to other people, so I don’t think necessarily have everything sorted by next week. We sorted out them staying for an extra month, and they all bought in to that, but we’ll have to see what they want and what their respective clubs want. Then, we’ll assess the whole situation from there.”

Bruce will also hold further talks with Newcastle’s recruitment team in an attempt to firm up his transfer plans.

“I would envisage our budget is not going to be as big as it was going to be in January before all this (coronavirus) started,” he said. “There are big discussions to be had, but we are still always trying to go and find another player - or two or three or four. I will be knocking on and breaking down the door because my job is to make sure we are competitive when we start up again.”

It remains to be seen how competitive Newcastle are this evening as Bruce is without eight senior players. His defence has been ravaged, with Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schar, Florian Lejeune, Ciaran Clark and Paul Dummett all unavailable, and Allan Saint-Maximin is also a major doubt.

Newcastle (probable, 4-4-1-1): Dubravka; Manquillo, Krafth, Fernandez, Rose; Lazaro, Bentaleb, Shelvey, Ritchie; Almiron; Gayle.