Newcastle United indirectly respond to Leeds United transfer ‘interest’

There is an increased amount of speculation ahead of the January transfer window.

None of Newcastle United’s first team squad have been told they can leave during the January transfer window.

Ryan Fraser and Chris Wood are among the players to be linked with potential departures in recent weeks.

The latter has been linked with a surprise return to Leeds United, while Fraser is reportedly attracting interest from clubs down south.

Neither have featured regularly for the Magpies this season, and head coach Eddie Howe admits a lack of game time for any player is frustrating.

But as far as exit talk goes, Howe says it’s too early to think anyone leaving St James’ Park.

Asked if any decisions had yet been taken on departures, Howe said: “No not at all. I understand that these things happen in the media, you have to discuss and rumours in the media happen.

“Lots of things will be in the mainstream media that is inaccurate. I think everybody that is here and part of the group and training in the squad is part of the future.

“Obviously there is a lot to happen and players will have their own thoughts behind that but that is where I stand.

“There will probably be players in the squad that want more football but that’s where I stand. It is difficult to promise that when you have a competitive squad.

“But everybody that is here is part of the immediate future.”

Meanwhile, Howe has played down expectations of a big-spending January. United have spent £210million across the last two transfer windows.

Howe said: “Me, sitting here now, I am not expecting too much business, whether incoming or outgoing, but it is football and it is January so it’s unpredictable.

“We can’t predict what is going to happen with our own squad at times, in terms of fitness and availability, so we do need to be ready to act if we need to. The need for that will be minimised by keeping a fit and healthy squad of players.”