Eddie Howe admits tough transfer deadline as Newcastle stock rises in Premier League battle
NEWCASTLE: Eddie Howe has revealed Premier League clubs are reluctant to deal with Newcastle United at the end of the summer transfer window, with the Magpies seen as a clear and present high-flying threat.
The Magpies have tried to land a number of additions over the past few days of trading, most of which have been based at current Premier League clubs.
Newcastle United were keen on signing Lucas Moura from Tottenham and Douglas Luiz from Aston Villa, along with a host of players signed up for Chelsea and Leicester City.
However, the window closed on Thursday night without the club adding to the record catch of leader Alexander Isak.
Howe, speaking ahead of this weekend’s clash with Crystal Palace, revealed how Newcastle have struggled to manage top clubs – and what impact he thinks this has had on the club.
“I don’t think I can go into the specifics of the deals, but I think we certainly found that there was no one there willing to do us a favor,” he said.
“It’s the narrative about us that has changed. I think if there is something domestically teams will raise their price if it is Newcastle. It’s the same all over the world, it’s something we have to deal with.
“That’s why we waived some agreements because I think it’s important that we are not seen as that club that will pay what is asked. I think it has to be fair.”
There seems to be a siege mentality on Tyneside, a mindset which is only reinforced by the behavior of other clubs in the transfer window.
The 2-1 loss to Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday also shone a light on the situation, with United booed out of the park by the Liverpool faithful and pushed by some onto the Reds’ bench.
Has all this brought the band together?
Howe said: “I think it’s difficult on transfers to say it’s brought us closer. The most important thing to be together is the players and the staff, and everything that happens here on the training ground.
“I would say we couldn’t be more together right now.
“There’s a real feeling that we know internally that we’re up against everybody. It’s healthy and I would accept that.
Some sections of Newcastle’s fan base have felt disappointed with the club’s failure to add another midfielder to their ranks, with the team, at present, looking a bit worn down in that department.
Howe is not of the same mindset.
“I agree with that,” replied the head coach when asked if he shared the disappointment of the final day.
“We tried until the end of the window, but sometimes things seem to be going and for some reason they don’t happen.
“There’s no blame attached to that, it’s the window; you deal with other clubs, agents, players.
“We were actively trying to do one or two things that would have made a difference for us, but it just didn’t happen.”
Overall, Howe agrees he is delighted with the four deals the club have handled this summer, with Isak, Sven Botman, Nick Pope and Matt Targett added.
“A very good window for us. On my end, we laid out a very clear vision at the start of the window of what I wanted it to be. It’s never perfect, never absolutely the way you want it, but from the board to everyone, everyone has given their all to create the best team possible,” he said.
“I found the window difficult and very long. I’m glad it’s closed and we can focus on football, but very happy with the team that remains.
On the final day of the window, Newcastle reduced their senior squad, with Federico Fernandez making way for Elche, Matty Longstaff heading to Barnsley and Martin Dubravka on loan at Manchester United.