Newcastle United's summer transfer budget plus Matt Targett, Jesse Lingard and Hugo Ekitike latest
Here, our Shields Gazette writers Miles Starforth and Dominic Scurr look ahead to the summer transfer window how it is shaping up for The Magpies…
What sort of budget will Newcastle have this summer?
MS: “There’s money to spend, but there’s no blank cheque. Also, the club’s new owners had an allowance under the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules of around £200million due to the parsimony of previous owner Mike Ashley, and, according to Companies House records, they’ve since injected £78.5million into the club, mostly to cover investment in players. As such, they invest wisely - and also move unwanted players on.”
How many players will Newcastle be looking to sign this summer?
MS: “I think we could see another four or five players arrive at the club in the summer. I don’t think we’re going to see wholesale changes to the squad, but, certainly, it’ll be a busy window.”
DS: “Like January, Newcastle will strengthen in the areas required in order to continue to push up the Premier League table next season. I’d expect around five permanent signings plus a couple of free transfers and potentially a loan.”
What are the key areas Eddie Howe is looking to strengthen?
MS: “Howe will look to strengthen the spine of the team. I think the club will look to sign another goalkeeper to strengthen that department, while some more competition could be added in midfield. The wide areas will also be looked at. The key area, however, is up front, where another striker is needed to compete with Callum Wilson and Chris Wood.”
DS: “The reality is, all areas of Newcastle’s squad can be improved. Even the midfield, which is arguably the strongest area, could see at least one high-quality incoming. A proven striker is the main priority. Chris Wood has helped fill the gap in Callum Wilson’s absence but his goal return has left a lot to be desired while Wilson is a goalscorer but is unreliable in terms of his fitness. We may have to be patient, but a top quality goalscorer and at least another attacking player is a must in the summer window.”
With Dan Ashworth still on gardening leave at Brighton, will that impact Newcastle's recruitment?
MS: “I think the success of United in January’s window shows that the club can get business done ahead of Ashworth’s appointment. Howe worked well with Steve Nickson, Newcastle’s head of recruitment, and the club’s hierarchy in the last window. Also, Nicky Hammond had been brought in to do some work on player valuations late last year.”
DS: “While Howe and Nickson’s work in the January window shouldn’t be overlooked, having a recognised sporting director in place ahead of the summer window would have certainly helped Newcastle in terms of recruitment and strategy. It shouldn’t be a significant issue but it just means those already at the club will have to work that bit harder in order to bring players in.”
Which players could leave the club?
MS: “I think we’ll see a number of departures. Dwight Gayle, Ciaran Clark, Karl Darlow and Matt Ritchie could all leave, while Isaac Hayden, left out of the club’s 25-man squad in January after suffering an injury, also faces an uncertain future at United. Also, Paul Dummett and Sean Longstaff are out of contract in the summer, though Howe says he wants to keep them both.”
DS: “Newcastle will have to get rid of players in order to bring players in. Along with those Miles has mentioned, Jeff Hendrick is likely to leave again though his contract and salary could force another loan move. The club will also listen to offers for some of their more valuable squad players such as Miguel Almiron. Only a handful of players are completely safe from leaving.”
Is Matt Targett likely to join permanently in the summer?
MS: “I’d say he’s more likely to stay than not. The Gazette understands a £15million fee was agreed at the time of his loan, and, in that sense, it could be an easy deal to do if terms can be agreed with Targett, who quickly settled into the team and has impressed at left-back.”
DS: “A £15million fee for a Premier League proven 26-year-old full-back seems like good business in today’s market. But Newcastle are still being linked with players in his position from abroad so a permanent move isn’t perhaps as ‘set in stone’ as previously thought.”
What is the latest on Jesse Lingard with the player set to leave Manchester United?
MS: “Newcastle are among the clubs monitoring Lingard, having attempted to sign him on loan in January. At the time, Lingard was keen on a move to St James’s Park, and he’ll make a decision on his future at the end of the campaign. Newcastle, certainly, looked to be well placed to make a move for Lingard.”
DS: “Lingard will become a free agent at the end of the season following a difficult final campaign with Manchester United. There will be plenty of interest in the England international but given how close he was to completing a loan move in January, Newcastle can certainly be considered the favourites for his signature at this stage.”
Will Newcastle reignite their interest to sign Hugo Ekitike after a failed move in January?
MS: “As with Lingard, Newcastle’s interest hasn’t seemed to have gone away, and with Ekitike available this summer, he’d be an obvious target for a club which is looking to strengthen its forward options.”
DS: “Reims are looking to cash-in on Ekitike this summer which opens the door for Newcastle to make a move. Having said that, the 19-year-old already turned down Newcastle once in January and shouldn’t be short of options this summer with several top European clubs also interested. A fee of around £33million has been discussed.”