Howe hits Newcastle fans with transfer ‘expectations’ reality check and warning over targets

Eddie Howe Newcastle

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe has insisted that his side’s takeover does not mean they can suddenly splash the cash to improve their squad.

This season’s January window will prove pivotal for the Magpies as they look to stay in the Premier League. Indeed, dropping down to the Championship would prove a major setback for their new regime.

Newcastle worked tirelessly before the window opened to ensure a smooth process for signing their targets. That worked to good effect initially, with Kieran Trippier arriving not long into the month.

The Magpies also swiftly activated striker Chris Wood’s release clause at Burnley. Both players subsequently came straight into the team for last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Watford.

As another week in the January window has progressed, talks over a deal for Sevilla centre-back Diego Carlos have continued. Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard is also supposedly a key target.

However, Howe has insisted that Newcastle have had a “frustrating” week, with no new signings over the line.

“It’s been frustrating in the transfer market,” the manager told a press conference. “We know we are against a deadline and we’re desperately trying to improve the squad.

“We’re working very hard behind the scenes. It has been a fruitless search this week.”

Newcastle target Germany left back Robin Gosens

Germany left back Robin Gosens will be sold by Atalanta to Newcastle for the right price as Atalanta want to cash in

Howe added that there is a “difficult combination” creating a perfect storm in hampering Newcastle’s transfer chances.

Coronavirus concerns are playing a key role, with clubs reluctant to lose players through fear of an outbreak and a subsequent lack of options.

When will Salah, Mahrez, Mane and the rest of AFCON Premier League players return?

Howe added: “I am sure the takeover has elevated people’s expectations on what Newcastle can pay other clubs.

“And add that all together it’s been a very difficult window for everybody so far. More so when you are in our position and you are keen to change the dynamics of certain situations. It’s been very difficult.”

Howe talks ideal Newcastle transfer

Eddie Howe on the Newcastle touchline

Newcastle are primarily after a new centre-back who can stabilise their defence.

The Magpies frailty at the back showed again against Watford as they failed to keep hold of a 1-0 lead. Indeed, that saw their tally of Premier League points dropped from winning positions this season go into the twenties.

On the characteristics he is looking for, Howe said: “Positivity, leadership, winning mentality – you have to try and bring those types of characters into the group.

“If you’re bringing the opposite to that, the dynamics of the group can change in a negative way…they have to be the right new players.”

Howe was speaking ahead of Newcastle’s Premier League clash against Leeds United on Saturday.