The last 48 hours have seen one or two reports linking Newcastle defender Ciaran Clark with a move to Selhurst Park but when new Magpies boss Steve Bruce was pressed for comment on the subject, he was pretty categorical in denying any links between the Irishman and the Eagles.
The 29-year-old only made 11 Premier League appearances in black and white last term (nine starts and two substitute appearances) but did perform well when called upon by former gaffer Rafa Benitez, highlighting why Roy Hodgson may well have been open to facilitating a deal in the final stages of the summer window.
Things remain relatively unsettled behind the scenes in the North East following Bruce’s appointment, with numerous Newcastle fans still desperate to see the club’s owner Mike Ashley sell up. Relatively big money has been spent on Hoffenheim frontman Joelinton but aside from that, Steve Bruce himself would be the first to tell you that the waters remain choppy for both he and his coaching staff. With that in mind, it’s no surprise to see him pouring cold water on any talk of Clark’s departure when in reality, it’s highly likely to be nothing more than paper talk.
Mamadou Sakho returned to Palace’s starting XI for last night’s pre-season draw away at AFC Wimbledon but with James Tomkins still some time away from making a comeback, we’ll have to use Scott Dann or Martin Kelly alongside him at home to Everton without any further fresh faces in central defence.
We’re now a touch over a week away from the summer transfer window closing; a time of year when all sorts of half-truths and outright lies are printed for no reason other than intrigue, clicks and paper sales. At least, in relation to this particular story, we’ve now got a concrete quote from Bruce to write it off.