Atlético Madrid striker Nikola Kalinić has rejected the chance to join Newcastle in January, with Steve Bruce confirming the club have already had “a couple of knock-backs” during the winter transfer window.
The Magpies had shortlisted Kalinić, who is currently on loan with Italian side Roma, after his return from injury as they look to provide some support for record signing Joelinton during the second half of the season.
It hasn’t been made clear if Bruce’s side wanted Kalinić on a permanent transfer or just on loan, but it’s understood that his parent club Atlético Madrid would have been open to selling the 32-year-old this month.
Although the transfer window has just opened, Newcastle manager Bruce has suggested that Kalinić’s decision to reject a move to the north east isn’t the only setback they’ve had in the transfer market so far.
Speaking after the club’s 1-1 draw against Rochdale on Saturday, Bruce said via Sky Sports: “Yes. We’ve had a couple of knock-backs already so we’ll keep working away.
“It’s very difficult, especially at that end of the pitch, to get something that’s going to make you better. I won’t just be bringing in players for the sake of it, but we’ll see what the next two or three weeks bring.”
Newcastle problems going forward has seen them go into the new year just above the relegation zone and Bruce has admitted that the club’s £40m summer signing Joelinton has struggled to adapt since his move from Hoffenheim.
“He has had a difficult time but he’s got to stick at it,” Bruce added. “Until two weeks ago [Miguel] Almirón hadn’t scored but now he’s scored two in fairly quick succession, so he’s just got to stick at it.”