Speaking to FootballFanCast, Gillespie offered a negative verdict, arguing that defensive reinforcements are not a priority:
“They want the players that are going to excite them and bringing in a centre-half is not going to do that. Defensively, at times, they have been okay, so it’s not something that I would earmark.”
Gillespie added: “I think you need players further forward, who are going to create, midfielders, maybe, depending on what way you’re going to play, get somebody up alongside Callum Wilson when he’s fit.”
It is hardly a well-kept secret that Newcastle have been mired in mediocrity in front of goal this season.
The club’s top two league scorers in Miguel Almiron and Callum Wilson have 14 goals between them, accounting for the majority of Newcastle’s Premier League strikes this season.
In that sense, Gillespie will not stand in isolation in raising his eyebrows at the reports linking Bartley with a move to the north-east of England.
With just 28 goals for the club in the league overall, that places just four clubs as having scored fewer than the Magpies. Consequentially, the area most in need of improvement is addressing itself.
Without first offloading a number of defenders, it is hard to see a deal for Bartley making any real sense.