Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Eddie Howe sack: Newcastle line up Prem-winning manager after PIF sour on Howe

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe

Howe is under pressure and a Premier League-winning manager is under consideration

The Newcastle hierarchy are ‘hugely concerned’ by the drop-off overseen by Eddie Howe this season and a Premier League-winning manager is being considered if the axe falls, according to a report.

Howe worked wonders in his first two seasons with Newcastle and initially guided the club to safety upon replacing the unpopular Steve Bruce.

Giant strides forward were taken the following year, with the Magpies beating the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham to fourth spot and Champions League qualification.

However, amid an injury crisis that never seems to abate, Newcastle have struggled to cope with the added demands of competing on multiple fronts this term.

The UCL campaign ended in the group stage and Newcastle crashed out of Europe altogether after finishing bottom of their tough group.

Howe’s side currently sit 10th in the Premier League table and face an uphill struggle to simply qualify for any European competition next term.

Their League Cup dreams were shattered by Chelsea via a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-finals. With Manchester City awaiting in the FA Cup on Saturday, the long wait for major silverware may well roll on.

Now, according to online outlet HITC, Eddie Howe could pay the price for Newcastle’s sub-par campaign.

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Saudi chiefs souring on Howe?

They state the club’s Saudi backers, PIF, are ‘hugely concerned’ by the club’s decline this season. As such, it is reportedly ‘not guaranteed’ Howe remains the manager beyond the summer.

A decision one way or the other is yet to be made, though the report states the hiring of potential replacements is already being explored.

It’s clarified that does not necessarily mean Howe’s race is run. Indeed, PIF view exploring the managerial market as simply doing their due diligence in the event they do swing the axe.

Nonetheless, one potential replacement for Howe is on PIF’s radar – Roberto Mancini.

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Mancini’s Saudi connection spell trouble for Howe

The Italian has links to PIF and is the current manager of the Saudi Arabian national team. It’s stated PIF were instrumental in luring Mancini to the country for that role back in the summer of 2023.

Mancini, 59, managed Man City to their first ever Premier League title back in 2012. Mancini was also the man that masterminded Italy’s success at Euro 2020, much to England and Gareth Southgate’s dismay.

HITC add winning the Premier League is PIF’s ultimate aim and Mancini – who’s won the EPL before – is rated highly because of it.

The report concluded Howe has the remainder of the season to convince the Saudi chiefs he’s the right man for the long-term.

Of course, winning the FA Cup and/or surging up the table to secure European qualification would likely put any sack talk to rest.

It’s important to note HITC’s report is completely at odds with claims made by Football insider earlier in March.

In a piece on Howe’s future at St. James’ Park, FI claimed Howe is not under pressure and PIF are fully aware he’s been working with a severely depleted squad due to injuries for much of the season.

The truth of the matter likely lays somewhere in between HITC and FI’s reporting. Nonetheless, if Howe were relieved of his duties, it appears PIF may already know who his replacement would be.

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