Eddie Howe confirms Newcastle United transfer blueprint that £25.3m target fits into perfectly
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With the transfer window set to close on September 1, Newcastle are still frantically trying to secure further signings to help improve their squad.
But the club have been strongly linked with several attacking players over the summer, most notably Hugo Ekitike. Newcastle tabled a bid for the 20-year-old forward before Paris Saint-Germain swooped in to secure his signature on an initial loan deal from Reims.
Chelsea striker Armando Broja has been seen as an alternative to Ekitike with contact previously made regarding a potential loan move.
And last week, Benfica’s Goncalo Ramos emerged as Newcastle’s new top attacking target following his impressive start to the season.
One thing all three players have in common is that they are classed as ‘under-21’ players and therefore wouldn’t take up a space in United’s already full 25-man squad for the first half of the 2022-23 Premier League season.
Although Ramos has recently turned 21, the fact that he was born after January 1, 2001 means he would not need to be registered as part of Newcastle’s 25-man squad if he were to sign.
And when asked if Newcastle are consciously targeting first-team ready players who would not take up a place in the 25-man squad due to their young age, Howe told The Gazette: “Yes, that's certainly part of my belief.
"I believe in young players, regardless of whether they are in our academy or if we sign them.
"Certainly, that's part of where this club needs to be for the future with transfer fees because we know how high they can be and the cost.
"If you can get players early before they explode in terms of value, that's certainly something I think we've got to look at for the future.”
Newcastle have signed Matt Targett, Nick Pope and Sven Botman so far this summer while also adding to their academy with the signings of teenagers Alex Murphy, Jordan Hackett, Charlie McArthur and Jude Smith.