Fabian Schar reveals how close he was to joining Newcastle United’s Premier League rivals

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Eddie Howe attempted to sign Fabian Schar for AFC Bournemouth before inheriting him at Newcastle United.

Fabian Schar has revealed how close he was to joining AFC Bournemouth when Eddie Howe was in charge.

Howe, of course, now head coach of Newcastle United, attempted to sign the Switzerland international when the Cherries were in the Championship first time around.

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Schar considered the offer after holding talks with Howe over the phone but was unsure about a move to the second-tier of English football.

The 30-year-old later got his Premier League switch when the Magpies signed him for £3million from Deportivo La Coruna in 2018.

Schar discusses Bournemouth interest when Howe was boss

“We had a few phone calls at that time,” Schar told the club’s matchday programme. “It was really a possibility for me.

“They were still in the Championship then, the year before they went up I think.

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“At that time, I wasn’t sure whether to go into the second league. But I knew him, and the way he plays.

“I knew it was something that suited me so at that moment, it was very important to go somewhere which I think is best for me.

“Obviously, I made another decision then, but not because of him - because I had another chance to play in a top league.

“But when he came (to Newcastle), I had a good feeling about it.”

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Enjoying his football under Howe

When Howe was appointed Newcastle head coach in November, Schar was out-of-favour - starting just two of the club’s opening 11 league games.

But in Howe’s first game at home to Brentford, Schar was restored to the starting XI and has missed just three matches since.

It convinced the former Hoffenheim defender to extend his stay at St James’ Park just as it looked like his contract would expire this summer.

Schar added: “This is for me, the most thing - he even said to me before the first game that he knows what sort of player I am and that he knows me.

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“I felt really comfortable from day one. The way we play, and I think the way we will try to play in the next few years suits me perfectly.

“I will try to be the player I am with a manager who knows me and gives me confidence.”

United will face Bournemouth again next season following their automatic promotion to the Premier League.

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