Eddie Howe will swiftly rule himself out of the running to become the next England manager despite the Football Association putting him on a shortlist of potential candidates to replace Gareth Southgate.
Howe would be the outstanding English candidate to take charge of the national team given his excellent work at both Bournemouth and Newcastle United and the FA would like to consider him for the national manager’s job when Southgate departs.
That could come as soon as 2025, with Southgate’s contract with the FA due to expire at the end of next year after the European Championship in the summer. Southgate has said he is undecided about his future beyond what would be his fourth international tournament.
Howe, though, would politely reject any attempt to lure him away from St James’ Park if Southgate steps down.
Telegraph Sport can reveal that the 45-year-old does not want to move into the international game at this stage of his career and intends to remain at Newcastle for several years. Although the England job does hold some appeal, it is too soon for him to step away from the day-to-day challenges of club management.
The other two obvious English candidates to replace Southgate, should his England reign come to an end next summer, are Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper and former Brighton and Chelsea coach Graham Potter. It is thought that Potter would also prefer to return to club management this season than wait for the England job.
In turn, the Newcastle hierarchy would resist any attempt by the FA to poach Howe. It is thought that Howe’s existing deal runs to at least 2026 after he signed an extension last year, but the relationship between himself and the board is extremely strong and that contract could even be extended again.
Telegraph Sport revealed in September that Howe is under no pressure to repeat last season’s top four finish this term, with the board acknowledging things would be even tougher for the Magpies with a European campaign to juggle alongside domestic concerns. Instead, the focus is on sustainable growth over a prolonged period of time with a settled and secure manager in charge of the first team.
Newcastle in the market for a new midfielder in January
And Howe’s job has become even more taxing with the anticipated loss of star summer signing Sandro Tonali to a lengthy ban after the Italy international admitted breaching betting rules during his time at former club AC Milan.
Tonali is expected to be banned for between seven and 12 months and the Magpies have already privately prepared for the fact the 23-year-old, who cost £53m, will miss the rest of the season.
The midfielder will be involved in some capacity in the game against Crystal Palace this weekend but a confirmation of his ban is expected next week.
Newcastle are determined to support Tonali during his ban after he confessed he is battling a gambling addiction with sources informing Telegraph Sport they had no knowledge of the problem before they signed him from AC Milan.
Nevertheless, the prospect of a lengthy ban means Newcastle will push to sign another central midfield player in the January transfer window. The club are likely to prefer loan deals – Newcastle could look into borrowing former Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves from Saudi club Al-Hilal in January given both clubs are effectively controlled by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund – but money could also be made available.
Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips was of strong interest in the summer before it became clear the player wanted to fight for his place under Pep Guardiola. That stance appeared to change this week with Phillips admitting he will have to review his future ahead of the winter window due to a lack of playing time again this season.
Manchester United’s Scott McTominay was also on the Newcastle shortlist in the summer, as was Germany international Felix Nmecha, although he signed a five-year deal when moving from Vfl Wolsburg to Borussia Dortmund in July.