Eddie Howe reveals the one thing that is making him ‘laugh’ at Newcastle United
Newcastle United have been linked with a number of players in the January transfer window.
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With the Magpies controlled by wealthy owners, including the Public Investment of Fund of Saudi Arabia, links to players are a constant theme.
But in January, naturally, the rumours have intensified as Howe looks to bolster his squad in order to achieve Premier League safety.
A number of the links to players come via agent talk, whether that be financially motivated or a ploy to drive up interest from elsewhere.
Either way, in terms of genuine targets, United have been shown first-hand just how difficult the winter market can be this week.
A fresh bid for Sevilla’s Diego Carlos was rejected. Meanwhile, Jesse Lingard is open to joining on loan, but Manchester United prefer to sell.
There is hope Newcastle can still add to the squad before the deadline and build on Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood’s arrivals.
But as Howe chases down signing No.3, the former Bournemouth boss was keen to address the constant speculation.
‘Just have to laugh’
“One thing that hasn’t surprised me is the speculation and intensity of it (January) with you guys,” Howe said.
“I’ve got to say, part of it has probably been accurate, the other half’s been totally inaccurate. That’s just something we have to deal with.
“I keep encouraging my players not to look in the media because that’s not healthy for them. It’s just keeping a clear head and trying to stay on track to deliver a better squad.
“The number of names we get linked with now, I just have to laugh at it because you can’t take it too seriously.
“You just have to let that ride and not waste any energy and time over speculation, instead just focus on the job we’re trying to do and the players we want to bring in.”
‘We knew it wasn’t going to be easy’
Sections of the Newcastle fanbase have grown frustrated after failing to a land new signing before visiting Leeds United tomorrow.
Howe confirmed he and the recruitment team will be working right up until the final day of the window with the club, 19th in the league table, in danger of dropping into the Championship.
“It’s a very complex thing,” Howe added.
“Whenever you try to sign players, it’s not as easy as pointing and saying ‘I want him’ and the rest will be done.
“Every player wants to know every detail about the club, the city… so there is a lot of work that goes into on various different levels. And even then, you’re not guaranteed to get the player right up until the last minute.
“The work that goes into each player we identify is huge and sometimes you can waste a lot of time and not get that player over the line.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. We’re really pleased with the two we’ve done and I think they’re the right two players.
“We want to try and add a few more that we feel will give us that added bounce we need heading into a crucial part of the season.”