Newcastle United’s qualification for the Champions League means a busy transfer window is expected on Tyneside. Whilst the club won’t overhaul the entirety of Eddie Howe’s squad, signings are needed in order to help them compete on all fronts next campaign.
In defence, players like Kieran Tierney and Jean-Clair Todibo have been mentioned as potential targets this summer whilst speculation over the future of James Ward-Prowse, Youri Tielemans and James Maddison continue to dominate the headlines in England.
All of these have been linked with a move to St James’ Park this summer – but what have members of the club said about their transfer plans?
Here, we take a look at what Howe and Dan Ashworth have said about what their summer window could look like:
Eddie Howe on areas to strengthen…
Newcastle will look to strengthen in all areas of the pitch with additions needed to bolster the depth of their squad. However, Howe has recently identified one area that he believes the club simply must add to this summer.
“It’s a difficult one, because we go into a lot of competitions next year, so we need the depth.” Howe said.
“This year, we’ve been light in certain areas of the pitch. We’ve carried on in the second half of the season with four midfielders. so you’re one injury away from a very difficult situation, so we need a little bit more depth, certainly with three games in a week next year.”
“We are suffering from injuries in a stage of the season, which is a concern for us in a sense that we do need to bolster our resources, because we can’t be looking at one or two injuries.”
Players like Ruben Neves, Declan Rice, Maddison and Dominik Szoboszlai, who would all help bolster their options in the middle of the park, have all been linked with a move to the Magpies this summer.
Eddie Howe on difficulties in the transfer market…
Whilst Champions League football, in theory, will help Newcastle attract a higher calibre of players this summer, there are plenty of difficulties coming their way and hurdles they must overcome. The club have stressed the need to comply with Financial Fair Play constraints and to repel the temptation to smash their current wage structure.
All of this will mean Newcastle have to be clever in the market and Howe is anticipating difficulties this summer: “We’ll have, hopefully, our eyes and ears all over everything whether that’s teams getting promoted or relegated all over the world because as I’ve said many times, the market is going to be difficult.
“Financial Fair Play, as I always say, will impact what we do this summer. Certainly, without Champions League football, it would have been very difficult for us to have done much in the transfer market at all. The fact we have that has given us a bit of a lift.”
Eddie Howe on transfer budget…
Speaking following their draw with Chelsea at the weekend, Howe revealed that talks about the summer window were already underway with senior figures at the club following their qualification for the Champions League. “We had discussions last night – those discussions did take place.” Howe said. “I don’t think a budget is ever outlined, because there’s always so many variables to it, but we certainly know where we stand.”
Eddie Howe on current squad…
Despite the need to strengthen in the transfer market this summer, Howe also revealed his determination to work with the options currently at his disposal and hopes to continue to improve his squad on a day by day basis. Howe said: “The players we currently have, have to be fit and ready to go and they have to be ready to prove how good we are all over again.
“We start with zero next season, so that’s a healthy way to look at it. We have to prove ourselves all over again. If we can add one or two players that can make the difference in the transfer market that would be good news.”
There are currently six players set to leave the club as a free agent this summer with Loris Karius, Mark Gillespie, Ciaran Clark, Matty Longstaff, Paul Dummett and Matt Ritchie all yet to come to an agreement over new deals at the club. Jeff Hendrick and Isaac Hayden, who will return from respective loan spells at Reading and Norwich City, are expected to leave the club this summer.
Dan Ashworth on transfer policy…
Speaking in January, Newcastle United’s sporting director revealed that the club already had plans in place for the summer window and that they wouldn’t shut any opportunity off. Ashworth said: “We’re clear what we want to do in the summer, if the right player comes along and the right opportunity then of course we will look at it. The second part of the club’s strategy is looking at more emerging talent and younger players that sit outside of the 25-man squad.
“Once again, if the right player comes along, we’ve just signed Garang Kuol for example – an 18-year-old – so we’re always looking for those sorts of players as well to add to our depth of talent that we have at the club.”
Ashworth, who joined the club ahead of last summer’s transfer window after departing Brighton and Hove Albion, was recently spotted in the stands during Leicester City’s Premier League defeat to Liverpool.