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Newcastle will pivot to “budget transfers” to avoid breaking wage scale

No huge splashes at NUFC next summer

Oxford United v Newcastle United - FA Cup Fourth Round: Replay Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

According to Craig Hope of the Daily Mail, Newcastle United are not planning to make any huge splash during the next summer transfer window in order to “avoid Financial Fair Play prohibitions” and to “protect their current salary model.”

The information was revealed in connection to the rumors linking Newcastle to Chelsea’s player Mason Mount, whose asking price (quoted at around €90m) and weekly wage (more than €280k) demands would fall outside of what the Magpies organization is willing to pony up for him.

Another player in a very similar situation would be West Ham’s Declan Rice, also of “definite interest” to Newcastle, but demanding similar figures according to Hope.

That makes such moves “unrealistic” for Newcastle “at this stage,” wrote Hope on Wednesday, pointing out that NUFC’s accounts showed an “unsustainable wages-to-turnover ratio of 95 percent” in their latest return made available a few weeks ago.

Sources that spoke to Hope told him that “there will be a huge increase in the club’s transfer budget” if Newcastle ends the season in the top-four positions of the Premier League, thus qualifying for the next edition of the Champions League.

According to those sources, Newcastle is wary of committing the extra revenue that playing in Europe would generate to “vastly inflated wages over a long period,” knowing that the team might spend just one season playing in the Champions League if they regress in the Premier League going forward and fall off that top-4 placement.

Those sources are “keen to stress that the success of their recruitment strategy so far has been built on identifying value,” citing that as Newcastle’s main strategy for the upcoming transfer windows, at least in the short- and mid-term, “as opposed to paying premium prices.”

Hope revealed that Howe is “likely to push the Saudi-backed owners” to attempt big signings, namely those of players known to be available. However, Howe is “determined to protect the spirit upon which the team’s rise has been built,” which means keeping it on the low instead of going for the egocentric superstar.

In his story posted on Wednesday, Hope mentions the interest of NUFC in signing ”a left-back, a right-sided center-back, a holding midfielder, a box-to-box midfielder, and a right-winger.” He also wrote that Newcastle might also entertain signing “a young back-up goalkeeper” and “a young striker,” although those latter two roles are not a priority to fill early next summer.

Leicester City v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

Naming names, Hope mentions James Maddison as someone who “remains on the list,” although Hope thinks the Leicester attacker might prefer a move to any club in London instead of one to Newcastle at this point.

Hope also included Scott McTominay in his post, saying that he “has long been admired by Howe,” also saying that Newcastle “have a cap on his valuation” that could force the Magpies out of the race to land the Scotland international next summer under Newcastle “budget target” guidelines.

Finally, Hope also mentioned Bournemouth’s Philip Billing, who “could become a squad option at a reasonable price,” and Nice’s Khephren Thuram, warning that “Chelsea and Liverpool have been watching the 22-year-old” along with Newcastle.