Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe hints at big-name departures ahead of summer transfer window
Howe and the club’s hierarchy are already planning for the summer transfer window.
There will have to be outgoings to make way for new signings, and Howe was asked about the decisions facing him after yesterday’s 5-0 loss to Premier League leaders Manchester City.
“I think every summer I’ve been in management, I’ve had to make difficult decisions at the end of the season,” said Howe. “Players that you love and have a great relationship with sometimes have to leave for the benefit of the team.
“This season will be no different. I’m sure there’ll be players that will move on who have represented the club in a brilliant way.
“Those decisions can wait until the end of the season. For me now, it’s about making judgements and assessments on everybody I’m working with.
“The training ground is a hugely important place for me, so I’m making judgements there, and then, of course, on days like today, I’m making judgements on players’ futures, based on what I see. I think that’s natural.”
Ciaran Clark, left out of Howe’s 25-man Premier League squad in January along with the injured Jamal Lewis, is set for a summer departure, and Matt Ritchie – who previously played for Howe at Bournemouth – is another player who has been tipped for a summer exit.
Dwight Gayle – who joined in 2016 along with Ritchie and Clark and helped the club win promotion to the Premier League – is also set for a summer departure, having only played a handful of minutes under Howe despite the loss of Callum Wilson to a long-term injury in December.
Miguel Almiron, signed in 2019 by Rafa Benitez, could be a higher-profile departure, though he has had starts under Howe.
Karl Darlow could also leave, with Howe expected to sign another goalkeeper in the window.
Meanwhile, Howe has secured Fabian Schar and Paul Dummett on new deals, and Sean Longstaff is close to agreeing a new deal.
Newcastle are 13th in the Premier League table, and nine points above the relegation zone, with two games left to play.