Newcastle scouting chief Steve Nickson has been brought back from furlough ahead of the proposed £300million takeover of the club.
Sportsmail understands that Nickson is back at work after a period where he and his entire scouting team were placed on furlough by Mike Ashley, shutting down their operation.
However, it is understood that head of recruitment Nickson is now working on a list of transfer targets on the premise that Steve Bruce remains in charge, although budgets – as well as market economics – remain unknown.
Newcastle United have brought their scouting chief back from furlough to draw up transfer list
The Magpies are on the verge of a £300m takeover lead by the Saudi Arabian state
We revealed earlier this month that the club’s prospective new owners are not looking to make an immediate managerial change and Bruce will be given the chance to see out the season at least, should it go ahead.
Newcastle’s players are also now being prepped for a return to training at the end of next week but there is concern, among coaching staff in particular, of what the future holds given the impending arrival of Amanda Staveley’s Saudi-led consortium, who expect no complications as they await Premier League approval.
Should the takeover go through, Newcastle are believed to intend to go big in the market
Meanwhile, we can reveal that Ashley has asked Sports Direct’s furloughed staff to take a 10 per cent pay cut from next month and take five days’ holiday – even though they are not currently working – in an effort to manage annual leave.
Some furloughed staff at Newcastle are hoping that the takeover is signed off by the Premier League in the coming days as the new owners are set to immediately remove them from the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.