‘Complete nonsense’ - Eddie Howe and ex-Newcastle United stars hit back at Gabby Agbonlahor’s claims

Former Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor claims players would rather sign for Brentford over Newcastle United due geographical reasons.

Eddie Howe and several former Newcastle United stars have hit back at Gabby Agbonlahor’s claim that players don’t want to live in the city.

The former Aston Villa striker reckons potential January signings would prefer to live near London, rather than the North East.

What did Gabby Agbonlahor’s controversially say?

Agbonlahor told talkSPORT: “Players will go there for the money, let’s be honest.

“When I was playing in the Premier League, Newcastle was the place where you were thinking ‘Mmmmm, not sure, I don’t really want to go, that far north, the weather. I’m not sure…’

“Players want to be close to London. You know, closer to London was an attraction.

“If you offered now, a player, £40,000-a-week at Newcastle, or £30,000-a-week at Brentford, they’d would go to Brentford, even on less money.

“Player do not want to live in Newcastle, let’s be honest.”

What did Eddie Howe say when asked about Agbonlahor’s claim?

Agbonlahor’s views were dismissed by Howe at his pre-match press conference ahead of the Norwich City fixture on Tuesday night.

The United head coach believes the only factor preventing United from signing players in January is the club’s current position in the Premier League table.

Howe’s side sit bottom, without a win in their opening 13 matches and seven points adrift of safety,

“I don’t think that’s accurate,” Howe.

“I haven’t seen Newcastle in the light, yet, so it’s difficult for me to comment too much, but I’ve heard from everyone that I’ve spoken to how nice the area is to live in.

“I’ve heard amazing things about the town centre and the surrounding areas, and I can’t wait to experience that myself.

“We’ll have no problem attracting players to Newcastle for a whole host of reasons. I don’t think that’s going to be an issue.

“What is an issue is our position in attracting players in January, but that’s not my focus at the moment.

“My focus is on preparing the team for a massive week ahead.”

What have former Newcastle players said about Agbonlahor’s claim?