Dan Ashworth hints at exciting transfer plans amid Newcastle United conundrum

Dan Ashworth has given a fascinating insight into Newcastle United’s transfer plans.

Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth has given an intriguing insight into the Magpies transfer plans over the coming months.

Speculation regarding moves for the likes of Real Valladolid defender Ivan Fresneda and Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans have hit the headlines in recent weeks and the Magpies are reportedly keen to add two new faces to their squad before the end of the month.

However, there are several players being linked with a move away from St James Park, with the likes of Ryan Fraser and Martin Dubravka all said to be attracting interest from elsewhere.

However, Ashworth revealed the club are taking a more measured approach to their business and he gave an indication that ambitious summer plans are being formulated within the United hierarchy.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup quarter-final with Leicester City, he told Sky Sports: “First and foremost, Eddie (Howe) is brilliant to work with and an experienced manager so he understands financial fair play and understands trying to build the squad in a sensible way. So we would try and work a couple of windows in advance, so we know what we would like to do in the summer of 2023 for example. If the right opportunity comes along, and we can do it, we would look at it but January is always a difficult window.

“Eddie knows that, and I know that, so it’s not always quite so easy to be able to get the right player in a short space of time. You get two opportunities in a season to change your squad, in and out, and this is one of them. It’s a shorter window than the summer one and it would be remiss of us not to look at something and do something - but as I said, we are clear what we want to do in the summer.”

There have been suggestions from figures outside of the North East that the Magpies owners could release significant funds to attract star names to Tyneside this month in a bid to boost the chances of securing qualification for next season’s Champions League.

Eddie Howe’s side will return to Premier League action on Sunday afternoon when Fulham visit St James Park and United will hope to continue a run of form that has firmly established themselves as genuine contenders for a place among European football’s elite.

Former Gallowgate favourite Shay Given asked whether an increased outlay in the January window had been considered and was met by an open and honest response from Ashworth.

Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

“It’s a really good question (if a big spend could help push towards the Champions League) and one we’ve talked about. There are a couple of factors in there. We have a 25-man squad now, so we would need to trade and the second thing is every club is bound by financial fair play. So every financial year you have budgets you can use.

“So we need to make sure it fits in that budget and we can’t just spend because we fancy it, it’s all part of the plan. Yes, that does lead into those sort of conversations. We are in a wonderful position in the league and we want to sustain that but we have a really good squad to be able to sustain that as well.”