STEVE BRUCE will not be looking to move Fabian Schar out of Newcastle United – even though he admits players will have to leave in the next few weeks to trim the squad.

Florian Lejeune completed a season-long loan to Spanish side Alaves earlier today, with Bruce admitting the centre-half needs an opportunity to start playing regular football again after two serious knee injuries.

Schar, who is currently recovering from a shoulder injury, has also been linked with a possible departure before the transfer window closes on October 5, but while Newcastle will have to let players go as they can only name 25 senior players in their Premier League squad, Bruce is keen to hold on to the Swiss centre-half.

He said: “He (Schar) certainly has a part to play here, although you can’t stop the speculation. Fab is recovering from a shoulder operation but is an important part of what we do. That hasn’t changed.

“Let’s hope he can get fit quickly, although I would think it’s still going to be a month until he can get right.”

With Jamaal Lascelles, Federico Fernandez, Ciaran Clark and Paul Dummett also on the books, Bruce opted to allow Lejeune to return to La Liga.

He said: “He’s had a lot of injury problems, and even after lockdown he picked up a thigh injury. With not a real pre-season, I think it was vitally important we found somewhere Flo could go and play.

“It’s been an awful time with two cruciates basically back to back, so playing out in Spain, where the intensity is maybe a bit less than the Premier League, will suit him. We’ll keep revisiting it when we need to. It’s not the door being closed on Flo, we’ll see how things go when he’s fit.”

Having completed the signing of Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser and Jamal Lewis earlier this week, Newcastle were able to deliver more good news earlier this morning when Isaac Hayden and Karl Darlow both signed new long-term deals.

Hayden’s willingness to commit to a six-year deal is an especially welcome development given his previous desire to leave Tyneside because of personal issues.

Bruce said: “It’s never a healthy situation when we’ve got half a dozen or so heading into the last year of their contract. With Isaac, it’s been on, off ever since I’ve been here, but we’ve also wanted him to commit himself, which he’s now done.

“The spotlight is going to be on Karl a bit now with Martin injured, and we’re delighted he’s signed up too. There’s a couple more we’re in discussions with, and hopefully we can get those over the line too.”