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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Newcastle United transfer news LIVE with Klopp praise and Howe on January exits

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Hello and welcome to our Newcastle United transfer news live blog.

We’ll bring you all the latest news and views ahead of the January transfer window after Newcastle’s return to Premier League action. A dominant 3-0 win over Leicester saw Eddie Howe’s side move up to second place in the Premier League table for the first time since the 2002/03 season.

It backed up a 1-0 win over Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup last week, as they plot a path to silverware, while there’s also the small matter of the January transfer window only a few days away too.

The new owners have impressed fans by their diligence in the past two transfer windows and will head into a third window looking to continue their rebuild. What will happen this time around remains to be seen, but you can be sure a whole host of names will be linked with a move to St James’ Park. We’ll bring you all the latest right here.

Chris Knight

Carra’s Howe praise

Pep Guardiola or Jurgen Klopp would not be able to match Eddie Howe’s remarkable transformation of Newcastle United. That is the view of Jamie Carragher, with the Liverpool legend naming the Magpies boss as his Premier League manager of the year.

Newcastle had won just once in all competitions entering 2022, and were soon humbled in the FA Cup at St James’ Park by Cambridge United. However, Howe quickly helped turn the club’s fortunes around as a battle for survival eventually led to an 11th-placed finish.

Investment in excess of £200 million across both transfer window has helped overhaul Newcastle’s first-team squad. However, Carragher believes smart recruitment coupled with drastic improvements in the likes of Miguel Almiron and Joelinton is the real reason behind the Magpies’ stunning rise.

The Sky Sports pundit insists it is ‘inaccurate and unfair’ to simply judge Howe’s start at St James’ Park through the backing he has received from the new owners. Carragher labels it a ‘triumph of coaching’, and does not believe Guardiola or Klopp would have had a greater instant impact than the Magpies boss.

You can read the full story here.

Pep Guardiola, Eddie Howe and Jurgen Klopp

Chris Knight

Isak latest

Alexander Isak is said to be ‘desperate’ to return to the Newcastle United fold after spending three months on the sidelines recovering from a thigh problem. Toon boss Eddie Howe was again quizzed over the striker’s potential return date on Friday and admits he is hopeful the £58m man will play a part in his side’s hectic January schedule.

Isak picked up a small thigh injury during the September international break but suffered a major setback during his initial recovery. The Swede has only featured for the Magpies three times since his summer switch with fans eager for him to return in the New Year.

Newcastle have a minimum of six games next month with another two on the cards should they progress in the Carabao Cup. Howe is hoping to have Isak available for the busy period but is prepared to be patient with the returning star.

You can read the full story here.

Alexander Isak speaks to Newcastle United Head Coach Eddie Howe

Chris Knight

Gakpo response

Eddie Howe says that Newcastle United’s transfer plans remain firmly in place – despite Liverpool striking early in the transfer window and signing Dutchman Cody Gakpo.

The Reds clinched a £40million deal for the World Cup star and unveiled the arrival from PSV Eindhoven ahead of the official opening of business in January. Newcastle had scouted Gakpo previously.

When asked if Liverpool had thrown down the gauntlet to the rest of the top-flight, Howe said: “They’ve acted and signed a top player. “Good for them but it doesn’t impact anything from our perspective.”

You can read the full story here.

Chris Knight

Costa on Fernandez

Benfica club president Rui Costa has denied reports World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez will be allowed to leave in January unless his release clause is met.

Costa told DAZN: “We don’t want to give up Enzo Fernandez in January, but we are willing to please the boy in the event of a €120m offer.”

Chris Knight

Pele tribute

Premier League clubs will pay tribute to the Brazil legend in the next matchweek.

In tribute to Pele, Premier League clubs will remember his contribution to football during Matchweek 18 (Dec 30-Jan 1) by holding a minute’s applause prior to kick-offs. Players and match officials will wear black armbands. https://t.co/BpufJGGcda

— Premier League (@premierleague) December 30, 2022

Chris Knight

Wood praise

Eddie Howe says that Chris Wood is adapting brilliantly to Newcastle United’s front-foot football this season.

When Wood arrived as a £25million from Burnley last season, United were deep in trouble in the Premier League and the Magpies had to carve out results. This term has seen Howe’s team play with much more of an attacking freedom that has got fans excited and reminiscing of better days during the Kevin Keegan era.

United’s 33-point haul after 15 games is the best since the 1995/96 season and Wood has played his part in the campaign with three goals in all competitions.

You can read the full story here.

Newcastle United’s New Zealand striker Chris Wood (R) celebrates after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Newcastle United (Image: LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)

KEY EVENT

Transfer update

Eddie Howe has said Newcastle United must reflect on Jonjo Shelvey’s injury woe before making any big decisions on their transfer plans.

The former Liverpool player was injured after the Rayo Vallecano friendly and ruled out for up to “six to eight weeks” according to the Toon boss. It leaves Newcastle light on midfielders and were they to suffer any further blows in the midfield engine room, Howe would have a tricky situation on his hands.

When asked on his transfer plans after the Shelvey injury, Howe said: “That is something we are reflecting on and analysing on a daily basis. We will have a look at it, it’s a forever changing thing day to day. I don’t think it has forced any immediate decision.”

You can read the full story here.

Newcastle United’s English head coach Eddie Howe gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Newcastle United at King Power Stadium (Image: LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)

Chris Knight

Bruno’s Pele tribute

Newcastle United star Bruno Guimaraes has paid tribute to Pele following the death of the Brazil legend. The three-time World Cup winner passed away on Thursday at the age of 82, having been in hospital in Sao Paulo since late November.

The Brazilian government announced a three-day national period of mourning for a footballer widely regarded as the best player of all time. Tributes for Pele have poured in from the footballing community, with England World Cup winners Sir Bobby Charlton and Sir Geoff Hurst among those to pay their respects.

Guimaraes was among the Brazil squad to show their support for Pele with a poster ahead of their World Cup knockout victory over South Korea earlier this month. The Santos hero was taken to hospital after he stopped responding to chemotherapy treatment for bowel cancer.

Guimaraes has now taken to social media to pay his own emotional tribute to his country’s biggest icon. The Magpies midfielder wrote: “What remains, King, is your legacy, your story and everything you did. We are grateful for everything you have provided. Rest in peace.”

You can read the full story here.

Newcastle United’s Bruno Guimaraes has paid tribute to Brazilian football legend Pele

KEY EVENT

Maddison and Tielemans?

This from the Northern Echo.

***

NEWCASTLE UNITED will make formal inquiries for both James Maddison and Youri Tielemans as they look to invest from a position of strength next month.

The Magpies’ recruitment team have identified the Leicester City duo as key targets ahead of the reopening of the transfer window, with midfield regarded as a key priority area.

Maddison is a long-standing target, with Newcastle officials having made a number of unsuccessful attempts to sign the England international during the summer.

Chris Knight

Press conference

Eddie Howe will speak to the media this morning ahead of Newcastle United’s final match of 2022 at home to Leeds United.

You can follow all of the updates here.

Eddie Howe (Image: Getty)

Aaron Stokes

Leeds preview

Newcastle United editor Aaron Stokes is joined by John Gibson on the podcast to preview the visit of Leeds United this weekend.

PODCAST | #NUFC @AaronJStokes is joined by Gibbo to preview the visit of #LUFC

– Incredible Leicester response

– Has Wood done enough to change opinion?

– Marsch can have no complaints

– Are Newcastle in with a shot of the title?https://t.co/sPHfLuLv5Q

— The Chronicle (@ChronicleNUFC) December 30, 2022

Chris Knight

Gakpo deal and NUFC reality

The January transfer window is yet to officially open, but the first blockbuster Premier League arrival has already been confirmed. Cody Gakpo was a standout star at the World Cup and having been linked with Manchester United for months, the Netherlands international has been unveiled as Liverpool’s latest signing.

Long-term injuries for Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota seemingly led Jurgen Klopp to act swiftly ahead of the second half of the campaign. The battle for a top-four finish was likely also prominent in the Liverpool boss’ thinking, with the Reds currently five points adrift following a slow start to the season.

Newcastle’s unexpected form has disrupted what has typically been a race between the ‘Big Six’ clubs, with Eddie Howe’s side even tipped as potential title contenders in some quarters. The Magpies’ solitary defeat of the campaign came in controversial circumstances at Anfield in August, with the team already unsettling the Premier League’s elite both on and off the pitch.

Klopp took aim at defending champions Manchester City and Newcastle’s newfound spending power in October, insisting his side simply could not compete. The former Borussia Dortmund boss picked up on sporting director Dan Ashworth’s interview to congratulate the Magpies for having ‘no ceiling’.

It was a comment which drew a rare rebuttal from Howe himself, with the head coach usually avoiding public disagreements with his rival counterparts. The Newcastle boss explained the financial ‘reality’ was not how it has often been portrayed, and warned ‘everyone’ to be careful with their accusations as a result.

You can read the full column here.

Liverpool have confirmed the signing of Cody Gakpo

Chris Knight

Kuol’s farewell

Garang Kuol is ‘buzzing’ ahead of his imminent move to Newcastle United but is determined to leave the A-League with a win. The Australia international is expected to feature for Central Coast Mariners against Melbourne Victory on New Year’s Eve before departing for Tyneside.

The Magpies confirmed the deal for Kuol in September, with the 18-year-old likely to be loaned out in the January window. The young forward has enjoyed a stunning rise in recent months, and became the youngest participant in a World Cup knockout tie since Pele after appearing as a late substitute in the Socceroos’ round-of-16 defeat to Argentina.

Kuol only made his first start for the Mariners on December 18, and provided the assist for Marco Tulio’s equaliser in the 2-1 comeback victory over Sydney FC. The teenager can not wait to get started with Newcastle, but insists his only focus right now is signing off with three points.

You can read the full story here.

Garang Kuol is set to join Newcastle United (Image: Central Coast Mariners)

Chris Knight

Howe on exits

Eddie Howe will carefully decide before drawing up any type of transfer departure list at Newcastle United this January.

Reports that a list of players surplus to requirements had been circulated from United are understood to be untrue. But Howe will listen to any player who has concerns over their amount of game-time so far in the 2022/23 season.

For example players such as Javier Manquillo, Jamal Lewis and Matt Ritchie are yet to start a Premier League game this term while captain Jamaal Lascelles has started just once and Ryan Fraser has been picked in the opening league line-up just three times.

Howe has not publicly named any players that he feels could leave but has spoken positively about those who can’t get a game. When asked if he expected some players to leave in 2023, he indicated that could be down to the players themselves.

You can read the full story here.

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has been linked with the England job (Image: 2022 Getty Images)

Chris Knight

Klopp’s compliment

Jurgen Klopp has hailed Newcastle United as a ‘really good team’ after the Liverpool boss watched the Magpies play with an ‘exceptional’ intensity against Leicester City.

Newcastle picked up from where they left off before the World Cup break with an impressive 3-0 win at the King Power Stadium on Boxing Day. Remarkably, the game was as good as over with just 32 minutes on the clock after Chris Wood, Miguel Almiron and Joelinton all scored for the visitors.

Although Eddie Howe felt his side could have had more control with the ball in the second half – such are the standards at Newcastle now – Leicester were prevented from even having a shot on target until the 82nd minute in their own backyard. It is not often that happens in a Premier League fixture.

You can read the full story here.

(Image: Liverpool FC)

Chris Knight

Almiron example

Miguel Almiron’s revival at Newcastle United should provide a template for Darwin Nunez to follow amid criticism of the summer signing’s mixed start to life at Liverpool. That is the view of John Barnes, who believes the backing of fans and team-mates has led to the Paraguay international’s emergence as the Magpies’ top scorer this term.

Almiron netted his ninth Premier League goal of the season in the Boxing Day victory at Leicester City, having previously taken 110 appearances to register his last nine goals. The former MLS star was among Eddie Howe’s squad options tipped with a potential summer exit, but the 28-year-old has since established himself as a key player.

Nunez has already scored nine times for Liverpool since his blockbuster summer arrival from Benfica. However, the Uruguay international has regularly faced criticism for his profligate finishing as Jurgen Klopp’s side have so far struggled by their own lofty standards in the Premier League.

You can read the full story here.

Miguel Almiron of Newcastle United (left) and Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez

Chris Knight

Targett’s reaction

Eddie Howe was standing at the top of the meeting room as the Newcastle United head coach outlined his ‘non-negotiables’ and called on those around him to put the interests of the team before their own. It was one of Howe’s first team meetings at the club and it set the tone for what was to come.

Just as Ciaran Clark, Federico Fernandez and Dwight Gayle helped to maintain standards around the training ground, even when they were not in the side, another group of younger players have followed suit since the trio left the club. Take Matt Targett, for example, who started the season as first-choice left-back after his loan move from Aston Villa was made permanent in the summer.

Targett has not started a Premier League game since September but, rather than sulk, the defender has continued to push his team-mates in training and support them on a match day – even if he would love to be playing himself. Indeed, it did not go unnoticed how Targett not only shared the team photograph taken in the dressing room minutes after the Boxing Day win at Leicester City on his Instagram Stories; the defender also added the following caption: ‘Love it lads!’

You can read the full column here.

(Image: NUFC)

Chris Knight

Trippier’s attitude

Newcastle United star Kieran Trippier has warned Premier League rivals that the days of parking the bus are long gone on Tyneside.

From 2017 onwards, the narrative for the season was to reach 40 points and stave off the threat of relegation by deploying ultra defensive tactics. But Trippier’s arrival at the club back in January resulted in a five-man defence being ditched and the flying full-back becoming one of the key men when encouraging attacking football.

Newcastle served a reminder of such tactics by sweeping Leicester aside after storming into a 3-0 lead after just 32 minutes to win the game.

You can read the full story here.

Kieran Trippier of Newcastle United

Chris Knight

Santos to Chelsea

The Brazilian wonderkid was repeatedly linked with Newcastle in recent months, but Fabrizio Romano now reports he is closing in on a switch to Chelsea.

Brazilian midfielder Andrey Santos will arrive in London today to undergo medical tests and then sign long-term contract with Chelsea. €12.5m deal has been signed with Vasco da Gama. #CFC

No loan back to Vasco, at the moment he’s staying and then decision will be made. pic.twitter.com/17WgRRxzcZ

— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 29, 2022

Chris Knight

Rabiot claim

This from Sport Witness.

***

Juventus’ Adrien Rabiot has ended up Newcastle United’s radar for the winter market.

Sport Mediaset journalist Gianni Balzarini appeared as a guest on Calciomercato.it’s show, TV Play.

Balzarini, who is ‘close’ to the Turin club, has provided an update on Newcastle United and the Serie A side’s stance on the midfielder.

The France international has six months left on his contract and the journalist states the Old Lady would ‘prefer to lose’ him in January.

A fee of around €10-15m next month would be ‘very welcome’ over at Juventus, where they would rather sell than see him leave for free next summer.

Adrien Rabiot during a training session at JTC on October 25, 2021 in Turin, Italy

Chris Knight

Thomas on Newcastle loss

Leicester City full-back Luke Thomas has reflected on the Foxes’ thumping home defeat to Newcastle United on Boxing Day.

He told the club’s website: “It’s a day to forget for us (the Newcastle match), we weren’t at it at all, and we know that. With the Liverpool game coming up quickly afterwards, it’s a real positive for us and hopefully we can bounce back and get a result.

“We came in the day after Newcastle and looked at a few clips on what we hadn’t done right. Obviously, we conceded two goals so quick, which never helps, and we know you can’t start a Premier League game like that and come out with a result.

“But for us, it’s about looking at what we did wrong and getting back on the training field to prepare for our next game.

“With our first league game back, and at home, I’m sure our fans didn’t turn up expecting that to happen and neither were we. It wasn’t a day we enjoyed, but hopefully we can stick together, forget about the defeat, and get a result on Friday.”

Joelinton (bottom) celebrating his goal to put Newcastle United three goals up

Chris Knight

Fabregas’ prediction

Many suspected the World Cup break had come at the wrong time for Newcastle United and Miguel Almiron. Before the month-long hiatus, both entities were enjoying their finest purple patch in years.

The Magpies had astonishingly risen up to third in the Premier League while Almiron – instrumental in reaching those lofty heights – scooped the Player of the Month award. An easy narrative could be made to suggest Newcastle could lose their momentum after the winter tournament.

Common sense suggests a month of competitive training is more favourable than time off. However, former Spain star Cesc Fabregas, watching his old club Arsenal, questioned that logic. Almiron’s thrilling goal and performance on Boxing Day also defied the obvious.

You can read the full column here.

Miguel Almiron applauds the Newcastle United supporters after the 3-0 win over Leicester City (Image: James Williamson/Getty Images)

Chris Knight

Bruce to Norwich?

The former Newcastle boss has been linked with a potential return to management at Norwich City, according to Football Insider.

FI SOURCES!

– Norwich have contacted Steve Bruce about replacing Dean Smith.

– The former Newcastle boss has been out of work since being sacked by West Brom in October. #NCFC

— Football Insider (@footyinsider247) December 29, 2022

Chris Knight

Keep or Sell

Let us know your verdict ahead of the January transfer window.

Chris Knight

Marsch’s ‘respect’ despite schedule

Jesse Marsch has admitted that facing ‘intense’ Newcastle United on New Year’s Eve is ‘not the best situation’ for his Leeds United side because the visitors will have had less rest.

Newcastle welcome Leeds to St James’ Park on Saturday as the Magpies bid to build on an impressive 3-0 win at Leicester City on Boxing Day. It is a huge game for both sides; third-placed Newcastle can keep the pressure on champions Man City and league leaders Arsenal with a seventh successive top-flight win while Leeds are just two points above the relegation zone following a 3-1 defeat against Man City on Wednesday night.

Leeds will have two days less than Newcastle to prepare for the game after the Whites’ clash against City kicked off 53 hours after Newcastle’s match at Leicester got under way. Marsch’s focus, as a result, will be on getting players like Jack Harrison and Crysencio Summerville closer to being match ready after the pair were not risked from the bench on Wednesday night.

Marsch has also ‘pushed training’ over the last four weeks to ensure his side were ready for a packed run of fixtures after the World Cup break, but the American is not exactly delighted about the prospect of facing a fresher Newcastle side at the weekend.

You can read the full story here.

(Image: Amazon)

Chris Knight

Howe’s Wood backing

Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe is ready to unleash Chris Wood against his old club Leeds United as he looks to sign off from 2022 in winning manner.

Wood has netted three times this season despite having to battle for his place. And Howe has talked up his attitude ahead of the clash against Leeds.

Howe did not hesitate to pay the £25million fee that released Wood from his Burnley contract back in January.

You can read the full story here.

Newcastle United’s New Zealand striker Chris Wood (R) celebrates after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Newcastle United (Image: LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)

Chris Knight

Rodri interview

Rodri admits it was ‘massive’ for Manchester City to return with a victory after Arsenal and Newcastle United both picked up wins on Boxing Day. The defending champions sealed a 3-1 success at Leeds United on Wednesday night to move back into second spot.

City have won four of the last five Premier League titles, earning in excess of 90 points for three of these triumphs. However, Pep Guardiola’s side currently trail Arsenal by five points and are due to face the league leaders at the Emirates Stadium next month.

City suffered a shock home defeat to Brentford in their final outing before the World Cup break, and had to wait two days’ longer to return to action than their closest rivals. Rodri opened the scoring at Elland Road, and was asked about the ‘need to win’ in his post-match interview having seen both Arsenal and Newcastle make winning returns.

You can read the full story here.

Rodri speaking after Manchester City’s victory at Leeds United (Image: Amazon Prime Video Sport)

Chris Knight

Pedro update

Newcastle United looked nailed on to sign Watford’s rising star Joao Pedro last summer. The deal was close to being done, with the usually reliable Fabrizio Romano tweeting his synonymous ‘Here we go’ catchphrase.

Despite having a medical booked in at London, the Magpies would increase their efforts to sign Alexander Isak and signed the Swedish striker before the summer window slammed shut. It meant Eddie Howe’s side would pull out of the deal to sign Joao Pedro, with Watford fans breathing a sigh of relief.

A reported fee of £30million had been agreed between the Magpies and the Hornets, following the latter’s relegation to the Championship. The 21-year-old is now into his third season in English football and is one of the shining stars in the second tier of English football.

Chronicle Live spoke with Sam Ucko, co-presenter on Watford FC fan channel WD18, to see how Joao Pedro has fared so far this season after links to St. James’ Park in the summer.

You can read the full story here.

Joao Pedro of Watford

KEY EVENT

Shearer on title talk

Alan Shearer has joked he is not as ‘stupid’ as Gary Lineker after being asked whether he would present in his underpants if Newcastle United pull off an unlikely Premier League triumph. The Match of the Day host famously presented the highlights show in his briefs following Leicester City’s fairytale success in the 2015-16 season.

Newcastle temporarily moved into second position after earning a convincing Boxing Day victory at Leicester City. Manchester City reclaimed the position with a 3-1 win at Leeds United on Wednesday night, and league leaders Arsenal hold a seven-point lead and a game in hand over the Magpies.

However, a sensational run of eight victories in their last nine Premier League matches from Eddie Howe’s side has led to talk of a title challenge. Brendan Rodgers has backed Newcastle to be in the mix come the end of the season, provided the Magpies strengthen again in the January transfer window.

Shearer has previously urged caution when it comes to making predictions about his former side, with Howe’s side firmly locked in a relegation battle at this stage of the season last year. However, the Magpies’ all-time record goalscorer admits their ambitions ‘may have to change’ following a stunning start to the campaign.

You can read the full story here.

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer (Image: Amazon Prime Video Sport)

Chris Knight

No regrets for Ekitike

Hugo Ekitike admits he has no regrets snubbing Newcastle United for PSG despite struggling to hit the ground running at the French champions. The forward, 20, was a top target for the Magpies in summer but couldn’t resist the charm of his country’s biggest club as he agreed PSG on a season-long loan.

Ekitike has only found the net once in Ligue 1 this season and has played a bit-part role behind Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi. However, the youngster is still happy with his summer transfer decision.

You can read the full story here.

Hugo Ekitike of Paris Saint-Germain

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