Newcastle United are ready to let a number of their current squad leave in the summer, allowing Eddie Howe free reign to rebuild in his image, TEAMtalk understands.
Howe has already spoken about how the current team is not yet one that he would consider is his own. Nonetheless, he has been delighted with their progress since splashing out around £90m on five new faces in January.
However, there are changes that Howe and Newcastle are looking to make in the summer – irrespective of whether they are relegated or not.
Newcastle’s current first-team squad does not contain many players out of contract in the summer. The small handful that will be free agents are midfielder Sean Longstaff, and defenders Fabian Schar and Paul Dummett.
Of those three, Howe has sanctioned the offer of a new deal for Schar. The Swiss international has already developed a strong centre-back partnership with Dan Burn.
A decision on Dummett and Longstaff has not yet been made. But the latter does not lack for interest from other Premier League and Championship clubs and could very well leave.
Seven stars up for sale
Regarding player sales, Newcastle are prepared to make major changes.
Jamal Lewis, Matt Ritchie, Ciaran Clark, Emil Krafth, Dwight Gayle, Miguel Almiron and Federico Fernandez are amongst those who are set to be made available. Though final decisions have not been made just yet.
Bruno Guimaraes promised more opportunities at Newcastle after slow start
Bruno Guimaraes has been promised more opportunities by Eddie Howe at Newcastle after slow start since arrival fell Lyon
Even this January, Howe had to leave Jeff Hendrick, Lewis and Clark out of their 25-man Premier League squad.
The club’s hierarchy are fully aware there needs to be mass outgoings at the end of the season.
And if the Magpies are to truly flex their financial muscles in the summer – as is expected if relegation is avoided – the deck must first be cleared.
Newcastle could blitz Man Utd with club-record deal
Meanwhile, Newcastle United are reportedly at the front of the queue to sign Napoli striker Victor Osimhen – and are seemingly ready to blow away fellow suitors Manchester United in the race for the Nigerian.
The 23-year-old had emerged on Man Utd’s radar after acquiring a youngster striker next season became a priority. Ralf Rangnick is having doubts about Cristiano Ronaldo at 37, while 34-year-old Edinson Cavani is on course to leave as a free agent.
However, Multiple reports on Wednesday suggest it is Newcastle United who are leading the chase for Osimhen.
NapoliCalcio (via Sport Witness) claims Eddie Howe’s side are ‘ready to go crazy’ to buy Osimhen.
Il Mattino, meanwhile, claims the Magpies are ‘above all’ in the race for the striker with 18 Nigeria caps.
They claim Newcastle’s bottomless pit of cash makes them the favourites. As such, the Magpies are well-placed to land the explosive striker in what would be a club-record £84m deal.