STEVE Bruce has revealed he tried to sign in-demand Crystal Palace duo Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise during his time at Newcastle United.

The pair are in dazzling form at Selhurst Park and Palace face a fight to keep hold of the attackers this summer, with Manchester United and Arsenal said to be keen on Olise and Tottenham reportedly chasing Eze.

Bruce has now revealed both players travelled to the North East for talks with Newcastle during his period in charge but opted to stay in the capital.

He has backed Manchester United's move for Olise - and says bringing in Dan Ashworth from Newcastle will be a good move for the struggling Red Devils.

"Ironically, I took the two of them to Newcastle and they both decided that they wanted to stay in London," said Bruce of Eze and Olise.

"Every day the back pages are full of who they (Manchester United) are going to sign. I hope they get that department right. I think the moves that they're making upstairs can only help. Certainly with the likes of Dan Ashworth, they will."

Newcastle head for Old Trafford tonight looking for one of two wins that will guarantee a sixth place finish and European football next season for the Magpies.

Attention will then turn to the summer transfer window, where United will be determined to keep hold of in-demand Bruno Guimaraes and Alexander Isak.

Bruce told Betway: "I don't think they'll want to sell one of the better players, however, to generate the sort of money you just don’t know. Who does know? That's the way the rumours have it. Both players are excellent and a huge part of what they’re looking to do. You want to hold on to your best players.

"It shows you how difficult it is now with financial fair play. Arguably, they say they're the richest club in the world and can't spend it otherwise. You've got to stick to the rules and you know what happens if you don't. We've seen that this year, so they might have to sell."


The landscape is completely different for Newcastle now compared to the days of Mike Ashley's ownership, when Bruce was in the dugout.

Looking back on his time in charge, he said: "Well, it was difficult. They're in a different era now. My aim at Newcastle was a bit like a promoted club on a restricted budget. We had to stay in the Premier League, which is always difficult.

"So in that respect, I'm pleased that we did. For me, it enabled the takeover to go ahead and I'm supremely indebted to being given the opportunity.

"I managed Newcastle for two-and-a-half years and in the pandemic, so we didn't have a crowd for a good year or whatever. It was under difficult circumstances. It's a fantastic club and as I said, I feel as if it's been a privilege to have managed it, being a lad from the North East."