Newcastle United messaged by La Liga club

Eddie Howe won’t yet talk about a European challenge from Newcastle United.

But pre-season opponents Athletic Bilbao claim that Europe is “in their sights” after a strong start to the season. Newcastle – who played Athletic in pre-season – are third in the Premier League, but Howe has refused to talk about European qualification.

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Speaking last month, United’s head coach said: “I don’t think we’re looking at necessarily longer-term targets for the season, we’re just trying to give our best in every game. We’re not putting any pressure on ourselves internally other than giving our best and trying to win every game.”

Athletic are fourth in La Liga, and the Basque club, which forged a bond with Newcastle after a two-legged UEFA Cup tie in the 1994/95 season, posted a message on Twitter.

The club tweeted: “Four months on from our friendly at St. James' Park. The Lions and the Magpies have Europe in their sights.”

Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson Athletic Bilbao defender Yeray Alvarez at St James's Park in July's friendly.