Sky Sports News reporter Keith Downie unpicks Newcastle United’s summer transfer strategy and explains why incomings have been far less frequent after a high-spending winter window.
Have Newcastle been quieter in the market than expected?
“I think most people looking at Newcastle this summer after what they did in January would expect them to spend huge amounts of money.
“But Eddie Howe has been saying for weeks now that it’s going to be very, very difficult to keep splashing out like they did in January and the main reason for that is the Financial Fair Play restrictions the club are dealing with.
“That will change in time, but at the moment it’s pretty difficult to spend the amount of money they probably would want to spend and the owners would want to spend.”
Why have more players not arrived?
“I think there are certain players who have chosen to go elsewhere. Newcastle put a lot of time and effort into trying to sign Hugo Ekitike. He chose to go to Paris Saint-Germain instead.
“Eddie Howe wants a certain type of character, it’s the first thing he looks at and I think he feels in the area they’re looking in now, which is the striking department and winger, there aren’t that many options who he would want to bring in.
“He doesn’t want to bring someone in for the sake of it, so you put all that together and I think it’s proving pretty difficult. Their budget is probably around £80m-£90m.
“They’ve spent around £55m already in the shape of Sven Botman, Nick Pope and Matt Targett. So they’ve spent a big chunk already.
“They’re trying to deal with Financial Fair Play regulations and as most clubs are seeing, it’s difficult to add in this window, particularly in the forward department.
“There is still money there to spend and I would expect them to make one, maybe two more signings before the end of the month.”
“Yeah, it has. Newcastle have made the two bids that we’ve been reporting. It’s a surprising one, I have to say, because Maddison mainly operates in that No 10 role and since Howe arrived his side plays a strict 4-3-3 formation.
“So it’s difficult to see how Maddison will fit into that. Those two bids have gone in, they’ve both been rejected, but I think a £50m bid would make Leicester sit up and think.
“Whether Newcastle can go to that with the budget I’ve alluded to already, I’m not too sure. I would be surprised if he ends up in a Newcastle shirt by the end of this transfer window.”
What about Newcastle’s other targets?
“Moussa Diaby proved to be too expensive and he decided to stay at Bayer Leverkusen.
“Maxwel Cornet, I think he was on the list as well but of course, he’s now signed for West Ham. I don’t think Newcastle wanted to pay the full £17.5m release clause for him up front, they would have rather paid it in instalments.
“Jack Harrison is another one. It’s my understanding Newcastle were interested but was something Leeds did not want to entertain at all. That might be one they try to revisit.
“Eddie Howe has got a fairly long list in terms of targets. The longer it goes on, though, I think Newcastle may move into the loan market and obviously that would help with the financial situation as well.”