Newcastle have 'shot ahead of schedule' with top-four finish – Eddie Howe
Newcastle’s summer budget of a reported £100million could block any move for Chelsea flop Marc Cucurella with Nicolo Barella amongst their other key targets. Despite Champions League qualification the Magpies have tasked boss Eddie Howe with finding some bargains this summer as they increase the size of their squad while complying with Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.
Their Saudi-backed owners have already spent £250million on transfers by signing the likes of Alexander Isak, Anthony Gordon, Sven Botman, Matt Targett and Nick Pope last season. Concerned about breaching FFP regulations, the rich owners could be left frustrated this summer.
The Magpies have been eyeing Chelsea’s Cucurella after the Spanish left-back has played just 24 Premier League and struggled to make an impression since being bought from Brighton for £60million. New Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino is looking to decrease the Blues’ squad size and wage bill but the club’s board might not be willing to sell Cucurella for half the fee they paid 12 months earlier.
With the Magpies reportedly limited to a transfer budget of £100m a big fee would mean a large chunk of that would be spent on Cucurella. The Athletic suggest that Newcastle are preparing to target ‘two quality, elite players’ with the rest of their additions coming from bargain or loan deals.
The Magpies are aiming to spend half of their transfer budget on Inter Milan midfielder Nicolo Barella who aided his side into the Champions League final. The 26-year-old Italian international would strengthen Newcastle’s midfield and pair up with Bruno Guimaraes.
The Telegraph have claimed that the transfer deal for Barella is close to completion. The report also claims that the Magpies have earmarked James Maddison as their other summer addition to strengthen their midfield further.
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Newcastle’s bid to bring in Maddison from relegated Leicester seems less certain as the Foxes are said to be demanding a fee of around £60m. The Magpies’ financial restraints will be music to the ears of their Premier League rivals who are also looking to boost their squads.
Manchester United and Tottenham have also been linked with moves for Maddison and could have the advantage if Newcastle are restricted to a £100m budget. However, preparing for life in the Championship, Leicester might accept an offer less than Maddison’s true value in order to ease their wage budget.
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