Steve Bruce has been planning for next season with head of recruitment Steve Nickson but the Newcastle United head coach has reiterated that the Magpies have put the 'really big decisions' on hold until the club secure their Premier League status.

Newcastle, who currently lie nine points clear of the relegation zone, would be as good as safe if they can win at high-flying Leicester on Friday night.

Whenever safety is mathematically secured, attention can then turn to player contracts and potential incomings and, perhaps, it would be a surprise if Newcastle moved away from last summer's strategy in the transfer market.

Bruce argued the case for targeting British and Irish players with experience of playing in the Premier League who, in theory, could settle quickly and Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser, Jamal Lewis and Jeff Hendrick all arrived accordingly.

Given the hit the club's finances have taken during the pandemic, Bruce is again keeping a close eye on players entering the final months of their contracts after previously signing Fraser, Hendrick and Mark Gillespie on Bosmans.

"I have a conversation with Steve Nickson every week when he comes into the training ground," Bruce told reporters on Zoom. "That's a constant but the really big decisions we've really put on hold until we secure our Premier League status and I think that's only right.

"Our total focus is on the club and keeping it in the division because, let's be fair, a few weeks ago, we were really up against it and we still are. We can't take anything for granted with it.

"But I think it's only right that the big, huge discussions should really take place when we have secured our Premier League status and we know where we are.

"Of course, every club will be the same. They will be looking at Bosmans, which are always attractive for obvious reasons, but I have to say to everyone that I can't see there being swathes of money anywhere in the Premier League from the discussions I've had with other managers.

One player who will certainly be involved next season is Sean Longstaff, who has started the Magpies' last five games, after a frustrating period on the sidelines earlier this year.

After being dropped, following a poor display at Sheffield United, Longstaff had to wait nearly three months to get another chance in the starting line-up but, tellingly, the 23-year-old has been an ever-present ever since.

"Well, I think it's normal for a young player to go up and down," Bruce added. "It's very rare you see a young player come into the team and not go through them up and downs and Sean's had his fair share of it.

"It's that level of consistency is what he has to strive to get when he matures and that's the one thing he will learn, a bit like his brother, too. His brother burst onto the scene a year ago and did very well and then, unfortunately, picked up an injury he couldn't shake off.

"They're young players, very good young players. They've both got a big future ahead."