Newcastle United CEO issues January transfer update - £45m 'example' & PIF loan deals stance

Newcastle United players enter a huddle prior to the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Sunderland and Newcastle United at Stadium of Light on January 06, 2024 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Newcastle United players enter a huddle prior to the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Sunderland and Newcastle United at Stadium of Light on January 06, 2024 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Newcastle United players enter a huddle prior to the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Sunderland and Newcastle United at Stadium of Light on January 06, 2024 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Newcastle United CEO Darren Eales has addressed the club's January transfer window approach.

Newcastle United Chief Executive Officer Darren Eales has moved to pour cold water on hopes of a busy January transfer window at St James' Park.

It's been a quiet start to the month for the Magpies and Eales says that is likely to remain the case - unless the opportunity to sign a long-term target presents itself, just like they did 12 months ago when Anthony Gordon arrived from Everton in a £45million deal.

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As well as January being a "difficult" window to do business in, Eales admits the club are mindful of Profit and Sustainability Rules (PSR), often referred to as Financial Fair Play (FFP), after announcing their accounts for the 2022/23 financial year.

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"It's a difficult window to get value when you're in the middle of the season and you are trying to bring quality in," Eales told reporters. "Clubs aren't willing to, or are less willing in January, to lose those types of players. Summer is always better from a value and a planning perspective.

"Secondly, we have had a number of injuries and we have got some very good players coming back in the second half of the season. We have that aspect as well when we look at the squad and talk about strengthening, we have players coming back who will have an impact.

"That will be the first couple of things, but like everything, we have to approach it on the medium to long term basis rather than knee-jerk reactions. You have seen from the accounts the level of investment in the squad. We always have to be mindful of the PSR stuff and making sure we are always going to be compliant long-term. 

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"For us, January isn't a great window for us to be doing business. That doesn't mean we won't do any business, as we saw with Anthony Gordon last year. It's difficult to do any major surgery."

Loans have been suggested as a potential way of bringing players in this month, namely Manchester City's Kalvin Phillips. And while the England international remains under consideration, players in the Saudi Pro League are not, according to Eales.

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A Premier League vote last year permitted Newcastle to sign players from PIF-owned clubs Al Hilal, Al Ahli, Al Nassr, and Al Ittihad.

He said: “No, there is no intention as things stand to do any loans from the PIF clubs in Saudi Arabia.”

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So, what's Eales' message to supporters on the January transfer window?

“We have always been quite transparent that this is a journey we're on," he said. “It's an exciting journey. We’re seeing from the number on the accounts and the level of growth. We have had the excitement in the past year with a cup final at Wembley and the Carabao Cup, qualifying for the Champions League and that game against PSG.

"I think we have always been clear, it’s not a straight line from A to B. I think that is the important thing. We have an ownership group that are passionate about the club, patient and a long-term investor. We know where we are and we can only set that vision out and that’s what we are committed to. 

"It is an ownership that will always spend to the maximum within the Financial Fair Play regime. We have seen it in the accounts, there is everything in there in terms from investment to the training ground to Strawberry Place and St James' Stack and what that will bring to the club.

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"They are prepared to put that investment in so it isn't just about a window, that is difficult and I totally get it. It's the nature of football that everybody in the next window is a panacea for everything but the reality is we have to look at it through the lens of medium to long-term.

"We are in a situation where we are getting players back who have unfortunately been out injured that will help the squad. We are going to have the intensity for the second half of the season. We always have to be wary that there is a finite amount of resources you can allocate over a certain period of the time.

"You have to do it at the time you will get value for money. I'd reassure the fans and they have seen the commitment from ownership. What Dan and Eddie are doing on the pitch but we are not in this for the short-term, we are in it for the long-term."

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