Newcastle United’s financial woes could mean they miss out on transfer target Will Hughes, a report has claimed.
The Watford midfielder is yet to sign a new contract with the Hornets despite being offered a five-year deal. Aston Villa are said to be favourites to land the former Derby County player should he decide to leave Vicarage Road, the Watford Observer says.
The source says that any pursuit by Newcastle would be hampered by their ‘financial constraints’. It could mean that Hughes slips from their grasp as a result.
The situation regarding Hughes at Watford is far from straight-forward. Discussions between his agents and the club are ongoing with his representatives not totally satisfied with the contract that is being offered.
However, it seems as though the 26-year-old playmaker is content at Watford.
As per the Watford Observer, Hughes said in May: “I’m really happy here, I’m settled, back in the Premier League.
“There’s nothing better and that’s how I want it to remain. It’s as simple as that. There’s no thoughts in my head about not me moving elsewhere.
“That’s in my agent’s and the club’s hands. That’s not something I’m really concerned about and it’s not something that I’ve really thought about. I’ll give my all for Watford until my contract is up.”
Hughes has one year left on his contract having been at the club since 2017. Aston Villa are currently monitoring the situation to see what unfolds next.
Hughes has featured for Watford 118 times, scoring eight times and provided ten assists.
The saga of selling Newcastle United
Magpies fans have endured repeated frustration over the financial status of the club.
Since owner Mike Ashley put the club up for sale in 2017, there have been several failed takeover bids. The club came closest to being sold last summer when a Saudi consortium pulled out of a £350million deal after months of negotiations.
A hearing into the takeover has been adjourned to 2022, meaning any chance that a deal may be salvaged will not arise for at least the rest of 2021.
Another potential owner, Bellagraph Nova Group, were said to be interested but their valuation of £280million has seemingly caused a stumbling block with no significant progress made in the acquisition of the Premier League outfit.
Fans are also frustrated at the lack of funds available for transfers and how the cash that Newcastle have got has been spent on first team personnel.
Prior to 2018, the club had not spent more than £20million on a player since the signing of Michael Owen from Real Madrid in 2005.
Since then, Newcastle have spent big on forward Miguel Almiron (£21.6million) and then attacker Callum Wilson (£20million) after smashing their record transfer fee in 2019 for Joelinton, forking out £40million for the striker.
However, between them, they have only netted a combined 35 goals in 199 games.
The Covid-19 pandemic has likely stretched club finances further. Subsequently, Newcastle could miss out on a number of key targets for another summer.