Eddie Howe issues Newcastle United transfer update

Eddie Howe’s ready for transfer talks at Newcastle United – after a well-earned break.

The club is third in the Premier League after last night’s 1-0 win over Chelsea at St James’s Park. Joe Willock scored the only goal of a fiercely-contested final game before the World Cup break.

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Those players not on international duty will have a fortnight off, while Howe himself will have a few days away before returning to work ahead of the Christmas restart.

The January transfer window is also on the horizon, and Howe will meet the club’s hierarchy and recruitment team to see what can be done in the market.

Brighton and Hove Albion’s Leandro Trossard is one potential target for the club, which signed Alexander Isak for a club-record £60million fee in the summer.

Isak has been sidelined with a thigh injury since September, and ensuring the striker is ready to return next month is another priority for Howe, who was asked for an update on the club’s transfer plans after the Chelsea game.

“We haven’t really had those discussions yet,” said United’s head coach. “I’m not sure when we’re due to have those discussions about January, but, of course, we will at some stage.

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe.

“There’s still some time away from it, and my priority is always the players we have here. We still have a couple of players that we need to get fully fit, that we’ve missed, that we feel could make a huge difference to us. That’s an exciting prospect.

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“We have Financial Fair Play, those dreaded words, and I’m not sure what limitations that puts upon us for January.

“There’s lots to discuss, but I think my main aim at the minute is to try to get the players that we do have in the best possible condition when the season restarts.”

Newcastle will restart their season with a Carabao Cup tie against Bournemouth, Howe’s former club, in the week before Christmas. The club has also lined up friendlies against Al-Hilal and Rayo Vallecano for the break.

"I’ll enjoy maybe a few days off, but then the challenge is to come back and make sure we hit the ground running,” said Howe.

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United are seven points behind league leaders Arsenal.