Politics

Eddie Howe promises ‘ambition’ but warns success won’t happen overnight



Newcastle United may have been described as the richest club in the world in the wake of their Saudi-backed takeover but Eddie Howe has sought to dampen expectations of a no-holds-barred assault on the summer transfer window.

Newcastle’s Premier League survival was mathematically confirmed on Wednesday night, allowing the planning the club is undertaking for a busy summer to move up a notch.

As i previously reported, Newcastle’s budget will be supplemented by sales as they target a high calibre striker. Benfica’s highly-rated Darwin Nunez is a priority target but they are also interested in Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin and have watched Chelsea’s on-loan striker Armando Broja. Howe also wants to strengthen Newcastle’s defence and Atletico Madrid’s Renan Lodi is another on their radar.

Fans might be forgiven for expecting further heavy spending given the stated expectation of challenging for the Premier League within five years of the takeover but Howe believes it will be more evolution than revolution in the first full summer of the new owners being in charge.

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Stating his confidence that Newcastle will match the lofty hopes of their owners, he predicted an “ambitious” window for the Magpies but admitted players would need to be sold and some of those who depart may come as a surprise.

Newcastle’s restrictions are partly down to Financial Fair Play limitations, with Newcastle yet to unveil new commercial partners which can add to their spending power. Those are coming, it’s understood, but not in time for the summer.

“There’s an element of truth in that [talk of reduced budget],” Howe said.

“With Financial Fair Play, we have restraints and we have things that we have to work within, so we can’t just go out and spend money on players like maybe teams could have done in the past and totally change their squad within one transfer window.

“That is not an option for us. The more money you spend in one window, the more it impacts upon your ability to then spend in windows beyond. The rules are there to govern the game properly and we have to follow suit, so that does impact upon what we can do this summer.

“But it doesn’t mean that we’re totally without ambition. We want to try to bring the right players in, ones that are proud to wear the shirt and that can make a difference.

“We’re well aware that we have to change the squad and we have to make improvements, but it’s going to be a difficult balance.”

The game has certainly changed since Manchester City upset the established order with their sustained and successive spends, which turbo-charged their progress and has created a behemoth able to prise the world’s best like Erling Haaland. Now restrictions are in place to stop similar spending sprees.

Of course, there could well be an element of smoke and mirrors about it too. Although Howe’s version is backed up by two agents who said they’d been told similar things about Newcastle’s spend, it is certainly in the club’s best interests for selling clubs to believe there are restrictions to their budget.

United’s power brokers became frustrated by the application of a “Newcastle premium” to every deal they tried to do in January. But Howe says supporters shouldn’t be concerned that success will come ‘overnight’.

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“No not from the vision that was sold to them because the club will get there,” he said.

“I am a believer in that the cub will get where it wants to be. The time it takes to get there, I think that is something no one can predict.

“In terms of a massive spend there are rules in place to stop that, it is all linked to boundaries we have to work towards. We will do our best to produce a better team.”

One player Howe does not want to sell is Martin Dubravka, with Newcastle linked with various goalkeepers including – surprisingly – Kasper Schmeichel.

“Martin’s been an excellent goalkeeper for this team for many, many years,” Howe told i.

“You just have to look back to the Liverpool game where he was outstanding. He’s done very well, he’s been a big part of our recent success.

“In terms of talking about specific positions that’s a big no-no.”



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