NEWCASTLE have signed Florent Indalecio to join their Under-23s set-up – and Steve Bruce insists the 23-year-old has not been recruited simply because he is one of Allan Saint-Maximin’s best friends.

Indalecio has signed a one-year deal with the Magpies, and will initially work with the club’s development set-up rather than the first team.

The French forward was a team-mate of Saint-Maximin during their days in the youth set-up at Saint Etienne, but Indalecio was released as a 15-year-old because of behavioral issues.

He spent some time in the French lower leagues before heading to the United States, where he played in the country’s college set-up.

Another move to Australia saw him combine appearances in the country’s fifth tier with a part-time job as a bricklayer – hardly the typical career trajectory of a player who would go on to get a chance at Newcastle.

His presence on Tyneside should be a help to Saint-Maximin, but Bruce is adamant he has not simply been recruited to act as his friend’s ‘minder’.

The Newcastle boss said: “He came over for a trial with Allan in the summer. He came into the academy and they’ve had him for the past six weeks.

“He’s got something. Whether that will ever be good enough to play for Newcastle, we’ll see how he develops. We’ll give him a chance. He’s got a decent pedigree.

‘It certainly helps Allan, it’s his mate. But make no mistake, we haven’t just signed him because he’s Allan’s mate. He’s got a bit of talent, otherwise he wouldn’t be coming in.”