Newcastle transfers: Eddie Howe plots clever free-transfer raid on Man Utd as Ten Hag bins star once called ‘next Iniesta’

Eddie Howe, Newcastle United, October 2022

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe is reportedly preparing a move to bring Ethan Galbraith to the club after Erik ten Hag ruthlessly decided to call time on the midfielder’s Manchester United career.

The Magpies are upwardly mobile under Howe’s brilliant leadership. Taking over a side that was struggling near the foot of the table, he has since overseen a quite remarkable uprising. And from perennial relegation strugglers, Newcastle are now extremely well placed to secure a top-four finish.

Plenty credit their rise to the massive financial boost provided to the club by their incredible wealthy owners PIF. However, Howe has been keen to stress that Newcastle’s rise owes as much to his coaching. And with Newcastle having to rein-in their spending to a certain extent due to FFP limitations, it is hard to argue against Howe’s case.

However, this summer does promise to see more cash being spent as they prepare for a Champions League return.

And the Magpies boss will focus on quality over quantity as he fine-tunes his impressive squad.

Howe’s main objective appears to focus on his midfield. While Joe Willock has added a new dimension to his game, Howe still wants more goals from his engine room.

And with that in mind, Newcastle are seemingly considering a double raid on Leicester for James Maddison and Harvey Barnes.

Howe, though, has also shown him open to some more astute signings too. And now reports claim the Magpies are plotting a free-transfer raid on Manchester United for Galbraith.

The 21-year-old joined United as a teenager back in 2017, having previously been on the books of Northern Irish side Linfield.

Ten Hag decides to let Galbraith leave Man Utd on a free

He has made just one senior appearance for the club, coming on as an 89th-minute substitute in a Europa League tie against Astana in November 2019.

Instead, the midfielder – once compared by Northern Ireland coach Ian Baraclough to Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta – has had to make do with a series of loans.

Indeed, he spent the 2021/22 campaign with Doncaster, while this season he’s been playing for League Two Salford.

His deal at Old Trafford is due to expire this summer, though United do hold the option to extend that by a further 12 months.

However, Manchester World reports that Ten Hag has ruthlessly decided not to take up that option. And that will leave the two-times capped Northern Ireland international free to join a club of his choosing.

And they claim that will present Howe with a golden chance to bring the midfielder to St James’ Park.

Their sister site Newcastle World suggests Howe plans to offer Galbraith a deal at St James’. He will initially be loaned out for 2023/24 season by Newcastle were he to sign to help further his development.

And they claim that the likes of Championship pair Stoke and Sunderland will battle it out for his signature. There is also interest from League One promotion hopefuls Derby, who are also considering a move.

While no concrete offers have emerged, it’s reported that Galbraith will favour a move that secures him regular first-team football.

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