Eddie Howe confirms Newcastle January transfer stance after Nick Pope surgery

Nick Pope will require surgery after picking up a shoulder injury (Getty Images)
Nick Pope will require surgery after picking up a shoulder injury (Getty Images)

Eddie Howe has denied rumours that Newcastle United have already started making enquiries for another goalkeeper to replace Nick Pope but didn’t rule out the possibility of a January replacement.

Despite a superb 1-0 home win against Manchester United last weekend, Newcastle’s injury crisis only grew deeper after first-choice keeper Pope was forced off late on with a serious shoulder injury.

The club have since confirmed that the 31-year-old will need surgery which will see him sidelined for around four months. Media reports have since suggested that the Magpies have already begun making enquiries for a replacement keeper, with the January transfer window less than a month away.

David de Gea and Aaron Ramsdale are two of the names linked with a move to St James’s Park and, although Howe denied any concrete approaches at present, the Newcastle manager didn’t rule out a move in January.

“I’ve seen a lot of the media headlines and press speculation regarding goalkeepers and other players,” Howe said speaking at a press conference ahead of their game against Everton. “We’ve not made any enquiries about January in any position. If that was the case, we’d be recruiting in every position given the injuries we have in the squad.

“Hopefully that changes by January. This is an opportunity for our goalkeepers to cement their positions.”

Martin Dubravka is likely to replace Pope in between the sticks but the Englishman’s injury leaves Howe with a threadbare squad to navigate the hectic festive schedule. Newcastle have seven games still left to play in December, including a crunch Champions League tie with Milan and a Carabao Cup quarter-final clash with Chelsea.

At present, the squad is without 13 players but Howe praised the resilience and mentality of those still available.

“We have a group of incredible characters who are prepared to give everything physically and mentally to achieve success,” the 46-year-old added.

“There should be a good feeling in the group that we have the talent, we have the ability, and we have the character. We’ve got some really good leaders as well who are pushing and helping everybody to perform at a very good level.”

Newcastle travel to Goodison Park to take on relegation-threatened Everton as they look to make it three Premier League wins on the spin.