'We were really interested' - Newcastle United Eze and Olise transfer claim after England debut

Former Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce says the Magpies were 'really interested' in signing Crystal Palace duo Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise during his time at the club.

Eze impressed on his England debut on Monday night, starting the 3-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina at St James' Park, while Olise has continued to stand out at Selhurst Park, particlarly since Oliver Glasner's arrival.

The pair are now hot property ahead of the summer transfer window, with both linked with big-money moves away from south London. However, Bruce has revealed they were on Newcastle's watchlist during his time on Tyneside.

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Eze joined Palace from Queens Park Rangers for £17m in the summer of 2020, while Olise moved from Reading in 2021 in a deal worth just under £9m. Bruce says tempting them to leave London was always going to be difficult, while admitting it was a very different Newcastle under Mike Ashley's ownership to the one that can now challenge for some big-name signings.

“We were really interested in Eze and Olise,” Bruce told talksSPORT. “We tried to chase the two of them. They were never going to leave London, though, and Newcastle wasn’t the Newcastle they are today, of course.

“They are two really exceptional footballers, Eze in particular. He has this natural ability which just comes across when you watch him. He has that ability to go past people which seems to be a bit of a dying art at the moment. He has got that in abundance. He really looks a wonderful footballer at the moment.”

England manager Gareth Southgate now must decide whether Eze makes his 26-man squad for this summer's Euros in Germany. However, the Palace star certainly impressed the Three Lions chief.

"I think there were numerous good ones," Southgate said after ther win over Bosnia. "Clearly, I would imagine Eberechi Eze has caught the eye with the way he started the game and the way he glides past people and the power that he shows."