Bruce backs Ashley while Hayden and Darlow sign long-term contracts

Steve Bruce said it had been "a very good week and a very good window" at the club. Credit: PA Images

Isaac Hayden and Karl Darlow have both signed long-term contracts with Newcastle United, capping off several days of drama on Tyneside after the club and the Premier League exchanged pointed statements over the Saudi-led takeover bid. 

Hayden, who joined the club from Arsenal in 2016 and has since made 100 appearances, agreed a six-year deal.

Darlow, who came to Tyneside in 2014 from Nottingham Forest, has signed a five-year contract. 

Meanwhile, speaking at Friday’s press conference ahead of start of the Premier League season this weekend, head coach Steve Bruce said owner Mike Ashley wanted the best for the club. 

Newcastle have invested in Premier League talent in recent days. Striker Callum Wilson and winger Ryan Frazer both signed from Bournemouth, while left-back Jamal Lewis joined from Norwich. 

The retail tycoon flew to Tyneside on Wednesday and met with Bruce, as well as summer signings Wilson, Lewis, Fraser and the 28-year-old Irish international Jeff Hendrick.

“To be fair to Mike, he only wants what's best for the club. He was in quite a unique situation”, Bruce told the press conference.

"It doesn't look as if it’s happened, so for me, it's about getting on with business and usual and trying to do the best we can."

Bruce said the takeover speculation had “put everybody in a position of uncertainty. That’s never healthy.” 

"We've all said it would have been wonderful for the club. The owner thought it would take Newcastle to a different level because of the people involved, so that would have been exciting for the club.

"But it looks like it's dead in the water, so my job now is to focus on the squad and the team and move on. If I look where we are now from where we were 12 months ago, the squad is stronger and better."

Steve Bruce said it seemed that the Saudi-led takeover deal was "dead in the water." Credit: PA Images

The club announced Hayden and Darlow had both signed long-term contracts on Friday morning. Darlow said there was a “buzz around and that’s great going into a new season.”

Newcastle start their campaign away at the London Stadium against West Ham on Saturday. 

Steve Bruce said the club "have had a very good week and a very good window with the players we have brought in, but the business we have done in terms of keeping players here has been very important too."

Newcastle's head coach said he’d been “impressed” with Darlow. 

He hasn’t played a lot because of the performances of Martin Dúbravka, but he’s a very, very good goalkeeper and I’m delighted to tie him up. I’m delighted with Isaac too. He’s a 25-year-old midfielder with his best years ahead of him.

Steve Bruce