‘There’s possibly...’ - Eddie Howe issues fresh Newcastle United January transfer update

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Eddie Howe has outlined Newcastle United’s approach to the January transfer window.

Newcastle United are not currently active in the January transfer window - with the club happy to play the role of “watching brief”.

Eddie Howe is yet to strengthen his squad in this month’s market, with Garang Kuol signed and immediately loaned to Scottish Premiership side Hearts.

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The Magpies are third in the Premier League table and, as it stands, pushing for a Champions League. But United won’t open their bank account unless the right opportunity arises.

“We’re working hard at the moment on staying very much in contact with the market and looking at players and doing a lot of work but we are not imminently close to signing anybody,” Howe said.

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images) | Getty Images

“We’re not actively bidding for players at the moment. It’s a watching brief currently. Certainly, we’re not close to anything now.”

Last year, Howe successfully brought Kieran Trippier, Chris Wood, Bruno Guimaraes, Dan Burn and Matt Targett to Tyneside, all whom helped Newcastle avoid relegation from England’s top-flight.

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The summer arrivals of Nick Pope, Sven Botman and Alexander Isak built on that good work and created a strong starting XI.

But as United found out during the 2-1 FA Cup defeat to League One side Sheffield Wednesday, where they made eight changes to the line-up, Howe doesn’t necessarily have strength in numbers.

January, however, isn’t the best month to build a squad, as Howe explained: “The bigger challenge for January is it’s not the ideal time to recruit. There is a much smaller pool of players available, potentially prices are higher as well because there is a smaller availability.

“Not many teams want to make drastic changes to their squad, that’s why recruitment in that month can sometimes be very difficult.

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“Last year, I thought we did exceptionally well in a difficult month but this month, we’re in a different position. We want to add real quality to the group. If we’re going to do anything, it’s very much got to be the right player.”

Howe remained coy when asked what positions he’d like to strengthen.

“I think we’re looking at all positions,” Howe said. “I know that’s not the answer you want. We are very much casting our eye over all positions, because you know things can change so quickly.

“Yeah, there’s possibly one or two areas of the squad that I would look at and go ‘we’re probably lighter in that area than others’, but, as always, I like to keep these things internal.”

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