Eddie Howe makes no apologies for Newcastle’s no-nonsense approach to winning
Premier League clubs may find themselves regretting their choices if they vote to block Newcastle from signing Ruben Neves in January. Shareholders will vote later this month on whether to block loan signings between clubs with the same owners, which would stop the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia from brokering a deal between Newcastle and Al-Hilal.
Newcastle will be blocked from loaning Neves if the vote is passed despite the former Wolves midfielder being an ideal replacement for Sandro Tonali, who is banned for 10 months after breaching betting rules while playing in Italy. However, the prevention of the move could work against Newcastle’s rivals in the Premier League when it comes to buying players further down the line.
Any decision to prevent the Magpies from bringing Neves to Tyneside might just frustrate them to the extent they begin to flaunt their wealth even more by snapping up rivals’ transfer targets. There has already been plenty of opposition to Newcastle’s lucrative Saudi backing, which has helped to transform the club from relegation contenders to top-four finishers in just a couple of seasons.
All other 19 clubs in the Premier League at the time were united in their opposition to Newcastle’s takeover in 2021, according to The Guardian, with the new vote set to deepen the rift between the Magpies and their divisional rivals. They could be tempted to spend even heavier and simply blow the other clubs out of the water in response, which would certainly not go down well in most quarters.
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Several other clubs would also be affected by the proposed changes, including Manchester City and their City Football Group which owns a number of teams around the world. The likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Brighton also have owners with stakes in foreign clubs, while incoming Manchester United investor Sir Jim Ratcliffe owns French team Nice.
Newcastle, meanwhile, would not be short of other midfielders to target in January if they are blocked from signing Neves by their Premier League rivals. They have already been credited with an interest in Kalvin Phillips, who was linked with a move to St James’ Park over the summer but ended up staying at City.
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The England ace will be desperate to play regular football ahead of next summer’s Euros and it would make sense for him to join Newcastle in order to feature on a weekly basis. Flamengo playmaker Andre has also been tentatively linked with Newcastle in recent weeks, while Arsenal and Fulham are also thought to be keeping tabs on his development in Brazil.
Martin Zubimendi is another player to have been tipped for a Premier League move after impressing at Real Sociedad over the course of this season. Newcastle are yet to be mentioned in connection with his signature but they could do far worse than to bring him in when the bidding opens in January.
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