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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - NEWCASTLE: Eddie Howe admits it could be a busy end to the January transfer window for Newcastle United although he accepts incomings are far from guaranteed.
The Magpies have completed the $55 million signing of England under-21 forward Anthony Gordon from Everton but face a race against time to bring in the two further players Howe has set his sights on.
They have agreed on a nominal fee to take youngster Harrison Ashby from West Ham United but are set to lose both Jonjo Shelvey and Karl Darlow to Nottingham Forest and Hull City respectively.
That leaves a two-player gap in the Magpies’ 25-man Premier League squad, with Ashby and Gordon both sitting outside of the group.
Howe is keen to make sure he replaces Shelvey at least, although he is far from certain the right player will be available to plug the gap.
Speaking ahead of the second leg of the club’s Carabao Cup semifinal with Southampton, Howe said: “From a football decision perspective, we will see what we can do in the market to try to bring a player. There’s no guarantee on that. With other transfers, we will try and see what we can do. In terms of permanent signings, that will be very difficult. We will look at a loan situation, but it has to be the right player.”
Howe also revealed that he did not want to lose Shelvey despite some persistent injuries this season.
“It will be very difficult to keep Jonjo currently, with where he wants his career to go,” said Howe. “We can keep players who want to leave. There is nothing to say that every player that wants to leave you have to let go. But you have to take every situation independently and try to judge everything, judge what is best for him and the club.”
Howe acknowledged that Shelvey has had talks with Premier League rivals Nottingham Forest.
“Jonjo has been a huge player for this football club over the last seven years. He has been an important part of my squad since I have been here,” he said.
The transfer window in England closes at 11 p.m. GMT on Tuesday.
The signing of Gordon has divided fan opinion, especially as the player is one who polarizes with his on-field aggression and antics.
He also went on strike to force the move through — and Howe has addressed the player’s mental state ahead of a potential first appearance in the Premier League at the weekend.
“For someone of his age, we’re going to need to really support him and guide him through this move,” said Howe, who will not be able to play Gordon against Saints as he is cup-tied.
“Certainly, from the person that I met yesterday, I was hugely impressed by how he handled it. It’s a big day. I’ve been there as a player,” the Newcastle coach added. “You go to a new club, and it can be daunting. I thought he was excellent in everything that he had to encounter, meeting new teammates, meeting new coaching staff, getting a lot of information, trying to settle in.”
Gordon, who was also interested in Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, said Newcastle were the only club for him.
“Since I heard of the interest, I was always convinced Newcastle were for me,” he said. “I think the fan base and the city really suits me as a person, the way the team are playing under the gaffer at the minute really suits me, and the club just look like they're heading in the right direction.
“I feel like it’s a really big step,” Gordon added. “People haven’t seen what I’m capable of yet. I think under the gaffer, and the way the club’s going, I can really excel here.”
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