Newcastle manager Eddie Howe (Kevin C. Cox)
Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe insisted on Friday he cannot just “slap money on the table” while trying to bolster his squad during the transfer window despite the backing of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
Newcastle have spent a net £95 million ($121 million, 110 million euros) this transfer window in signing Sandro Tonali, Harvey Barnes and Tino Livramento, with Allan Saint-Maximin having left St James’ Park.
Howe, however, is keen to add to his squad, particularly in central defence, but the Englishman knows he will now have to navigate his way through Financial Fair Play regulations rather than simply spend more cash.
“We can’t just go out and slap money on the table and buy a player,” Howe told a press conference ahead of Newcastle’s Premier League opener against Aston Villa on Saturday.
“We don’t have the resources to do that at the moment with FFP restrictions.
“It’s about trying to find a different way rather than paying money in the here and now.”
Newcastle’s top-four finish last term secured a return to Champions League football.
“I’d love one more player, that’s what I’d love personally, and I think then we’d have the ideal depth at this moment with the injuries that we currently have.”
Newcastle’s rise, while owing much to the way Howe made use of a £250 million spending spree as the Magpies assembled a competitive squad, was also assisted by the poor form of Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea.
But all those three teams are expected to produce improved showings this term, with many pundits predicting Newcastle will struggle to finish in the top six.
“Ultimately people will always write us off, and I urge us all to come together and to fight tooth and nail to prove people wrong — and in my job you have to prove people wrong every single day,” Howe said.
“I have said my ultimate emotion that I use is fear of failure. Some people might see that as negative, but it’s fuelled me all my career and to work as hard as I can to make sure we don’t suffer that experience.”
Howe could give Tonali, Barnes and Livramento competitive debuts against Villa, while defender Fabian Schar is available following a thigh injury.
But midfielder Joe Willock is set to remain sidelined until the middle of next month with the hamstring problem he suffered last season.
“I think we’ll probably miss him (Willock) for the first group of games before the first international break,” Howe said.