Steve Bruce says Newcastle are actively working to sign a striker
Bruce on Newcastle fans: "I'm one of them. If I had not had the chance in football, then I would still be in the Gallowgate behind the goal like the rest of them"
By Husmukh Kerai
Last Updated: 19/07/19 10:18am
Newcastle's new head coach Steve Bruce says the club are actively trying to sign a striker in the remainder of the transfer window.
Sky Sports News understands Newcastle are in talks with Hoffenheim over a deal for Joelinton - with their manager Alfred Schreuder confirming the Brazilian will leave the club.
Ayoze Perez has already left St James' Park in a £30m move to Leicester City, while Salomon Rondon has joined Rafa Benitez at Dalian Yifang.
Bruce refused to be drawn on names but admitted the club are actively looking to strengthen up front, telling Sky Sports News: "I can't say much, I haven't spoke to (managing director) Lee Charley since I have been here.
"There has been all sorts of speculation and I don't want to comment on individual names.
"It is fair to say that we have lost (Solomon) Rondon and Ayoze Perez so in that area we are looking to be active.
"Budgets and all of that were discussed [with Mike Ashley], he was very open, straightforward and honest. I got the answers straight away.
"I am under no illusion that there is work to do in the transfer market and we are working actively as we speak at the moment."
Bruce to Newcastle fans: I am one of you
Newcastle fans took to the city centre's streets to protest against owner Mike Ashley after the appointment of Bruce earlier this week.
The 58-year-old says he understands the animosity following Benitez's departure but reassured supporters that he is essentially a hometown fan just like them.
"Whoever would have stepped into Rafa's shoes would have found it difficult, we all can't be Premier League and Champions League winners," he said.
"I knew it would be difficult because of how popular he was with everyone concerned. I hope in the coming months I can still try and keep the club going forwards and follow what he has done in the last couple of years in particular.
"To be mid-table in the Premier League has been great and it is up to me to carry on in that fashion.
"I knew straight away, soon as I got the phone call I was like a kid in a sweet shop again - it's not often you get that at my age.
"To manage this great football club with its history, its tradition and its supporters, me being one of them. If I had not had a chance in football then I would still be in the Gallowgate behind the goal like the rest of them.
"It's the dream for any Geordie. I was not good enough to play for them as a player, I was turned away at a young age.
"To get the job as the No 1, bring it on."
A surreal second chance
Bruce revealed he was "desperate" to take the job when it was offered after he missed out on the role following the departure of Sir Bobby Robson back in 2004.
"It certainly is [feeling surreal]. It was the reason I was so desperate to do it, it's my hometown club," he continued.
"It's something which I had the chance to do a few years ago when Sir Bobby Robson left and I regretted it.
"I regretted that I never took the opportunity and when it came again at this time, at this stage in my career where I am up to, I have to go and have a crack.
"I'm under no illusion that it is going to be difficult. I've got big shoes to fill in Rafa, certainly.
"The opportunity was there for me and I have always enjoyed a challenge."
Conscience is clear over Wednesday exit
Bruce's former club Sheffield Wednesday are seeking legal advice over Newcastle's appointment, with the Sky Bet Championship side claiming there are still outstanding legal issues to be resolved.
"It's been difficult and there is no disputing that," he said.
"Obviously there has been a dispute between Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle and it's been disappointing.
"Contracts with managers are pretty straightforward. There is compensation if you get the sack and there is compensation when you are leaving. I thought they were met.
"The two clubs will get on with that wrangle but my conscience is clear. Legally I can't say much."