Eddie Howe responds to Newcastle United exit 'rumours'

Eddie Howe’s addressed the prospect of one or more departures at Newcastle United in next month’s transfer window.

The club hopes to sign at least one player in the window, but Howe is keen to manage expectations on Tyneside given that the club, which has spent more than £200million on players since last year’s takeover, is constrained by Profit and Sustainability rules.

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Winger Ryan Fraser – who has been on the fringes of Howe’s team this season – has been tipped for an exit in the January window.

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However, Howe, speaking from the team hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia during the club’s winter training camp, says it’s too early to talk about anyone leaving St James’s Park.

Asked if any decisions had yet been taken on departures, Howe said: "No, not at all. I understand that these things happen in the media, you have to discuss (transfers) – and rumours in the media happen.

"Lots of things will be in the mainstream media that are inaccurate. I think everybody that’s here, and part of the group and training in the squad, is part of the future.

"Obviously, there’s a lot to happen, and players will have their own thoughts behind that, but that’s where I stand.

Newcastle United in Saudi Arabia.Newcastle United in Saudi Arabia.
Newcastle United in Saudi Arabia.
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"There’ll probably be players in the squad that want more football, but that's where I stand. It’s difficult to promise that when you have a competitive squad, but everybody that’s here is part of the immediate future."

Fraser, signed as a free agent in the summer of 2020 after his Bournemouth contract expired, has made three starts and five appearances as a substitute so far this season. The 28-year-old is under contract at United until 2025.

Meanwhile, winger Matt Ritchie – who, like Fraser, also played under Howe at Bournemouth – is “very close” to a comeback from the calf injury he suffered in September.

"Matty is working very hard, he's very close,” said Ritchie. “We expect him to train, hopefully in the next couple of days."

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe  speaks to Graeme Jones in Riyadh, Qatar.Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe  speaks to Graeme Jones in Riyadh, Qatar.
Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe speaks to Graeme Jones in Riyadh, Qatar.
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Ritchie, signed in the summer of 2016 by then-manager Rafa Benitez, is in the final year of his contract at Newcastle.