Eddie Howe: Newcastle have no friends to loan us players

Eddie Howe
Eddie Howe says Newcastle are not very popular with other clubs - Getty Images/Alex Dodd

Eddie Howe said Newcastle United do not have any “friends in the market” to loan them players and no money to spend on permanent signings as he painted a gloomy picture of their January transfer plans.

To make matters worse, Newcastle do not have many players either as Howe revealed powerhouse midfielder Joelinton is facing six weeks out with a thigh problem, taking the number of absentees up to 11.

After Newcastle’s chief executive Darren Eales argued that the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules are preventing his club from closing the financial gap on the ‘Big Six’, Howe argued his side are a long way behind this weekend’s opponents Manchester City on the pitch too.

“We’re not shutting the door on everything,” said Howe, who said he was glad Eales had spoken publicly to clarify the club’s financial situation. “But certainly as I sit here now, no we’re not going to bring anyone in. But that may change as the window unfolds.

“I think there’s a lot of value [in loans]. Whether it is value that we can utilise is something totally different.

“I’m not sure there’s many clubs out there that are willing to help us currently. To agree a loan deal, you need the club to agree to that deal, so we’re in that moment where I’m not sure we have many friends in the market.”

Joelinton is facing six weeks out with a thigh problem - AP/Jon Super

As revealed by Telegraph Sport in December, Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips remains the most likely addition this month, but the two clubs are not progressing the deal as Newcastle are not willing to pay a loan fee in excess of £7 million as well as commit to an obligation to make the move permanent in the summer.

And Howe insisted he will keep pushing for signings to be made this month despite the financial restrictions in place. Newcastle hope they will be able to offload one or two squad players before the end of the month which will at least free up room for wages.

“Of course, my job is to push as hard as I can to improve the team,” Howe added. “Whether that is coaching or in the boardroom. My primary job is the team and to make it the best I can.

“So, I will continue to do that [push for signings] but I have to respect and understand the football club’s health. That’s the primary concern of everybody because we want Newcastle United here for the next 500 years. We want it in a really good place and we have a long-term job.

“Sometimes, you have to make short-term signings. Sometimes, you have to take your long-term vision away and just deal with the here and now. I’d be quite prepared to do that if the situation arose where we could agree something that would help us for the here and now.

“We’re probably in a short-term moment now where the squad needs help in the next few weeks.”

Decision on outgoings could be taken out of Howe’s hands

Howe denied that Newcastle are planning to sell one of their “star players” in the summer to ease profit and sustainability issues, but admitted there could still be an offer made that is too good to turn down.

“I’m not aware of any enquiries for any of our players this month,” he added. “We are an ambitious football club and we do not want to sell our best players.”

Asked whether he would have the final say on outgoings, Howe replied: “We haven’t really been in that situation, but I think it would be a joint decision.

“As much as I can say that I don’t think it’s a good deal, ultimately when it comes down to financial fair play – after seeing what’s happened to Everton – that would be taken out of my hands, I’m sure.”

Newcastle have dropped to ninth in the table after a miserable run of form in December and face Manchester City at home on Saturday before travelling to Aston Villa, with their FA Cup fourth round tie at Fulham in between.

And Howe acknowledged Newcastle are not ready to break up the ‘Big Six’ yet because they do not have the same squad depth.

“I’ve never said we are part of that set,” he said. “That will all be created by the media. For us, it’s a longer-term vision.

“I don’t think you can suddenly put yourself in that bracket. You have to prove it year on year. The accounts, and what you have seen yesterday [in terms of revenue], would have given you an insight into how far we have to go to become the team that everyone wants us to be.

“There was this conception when the owners took over that we were the richest club in the world. Then reality is that’s not really important when talking about FFP, that’s irrelevant. We are where we are based on income and we have to improve those revenue streams.”

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