With his signing, Barnes has now become the third player bought by Newcastle this summer following the arrival of Sandro Tonali from AC Milan earlier this month, and the first signing of the season in forward Yankuba Minteh from OB Odense—then sent on loan to Feyenoord.
The first serious rumors discussing Newcastle’s interest in the Foxes winger emerged in early July, around two weeks ago, when multiple outlets positioned the Magpies in pole position for the signature of the 25-year-old.
Barnes, a Leicester City academy product, appeared in 187 games for the club while winning the FA Cup with the Foxes and getting called up by England’s senior squad during his time at the now-relegated Foxes organization.
Newcastle first sent an offer in the £35m ballpark to LCFC, although the Championship-bound club rejected it. The Magpies then started to work on finding a new home for Allan Saint-Maximin to raise some funds to sign Barnes on a higher fee.
The approach worked, with Newcastle reportedly reaching an agreement with Leicester for the transfer of the young attacker to Tyneside. David Ornstein of The Athletic first reported the news, on July 19, quoting the final fee “in the region of £38m.“
Lastly, speaking to the same outlet on Saturday, July 22, ahead of the Magpies' debut in the Premier League Summer Series on Sunday against Aston Villa, Eddie Howe pretty much confirmed what is now official: Harvey Barnes is the freshest member of Newcastle United.
Barnes, who is coming off a season in which he scored the most goals in any individual year as a pro—13 bangers—also got to finish the 2022/23 campaign as the Foxes' leading goalscorer for the first (and last, we hope!) time through his tenure there.
“I’m delighted. It’s an amazing club and for me it’s a massive opportunity to come and be involved in a successful team that’s doing exciting things, so I’m absolutely buzzing to be here.
“I think it’s an attacker’s dream to come into a team like this; it’s high paced, it’s physically demanding, but you can see the rewards of that with the chances and the goals scored, so I think I’ll certainly suit the style.”
— Harvey Barnes, NUFC.com
Although the club has not made the final fee public, Ornstein has kept hammering the aforementioned £38m-figure home. That said, he’s made it clear in his final note echoing the official announcement that the fee he is reporting is “in the region” of that value, with some variation possibly baked into it in the shape of performance bonuses.
It’d be surprising not to watch Barnes make his official debut with Newcastle in the pre-season before the team returns home if only because of the club’s announcement of the deal ahead of the first friendly game they’ll play in the USA and with the player already present in Philadelphia, where the team has set camp for their American tour.
A late arrival into Philadelphia... ✈️ pic.twitter.com/jShPleyEL9— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) July 23, 2023
The Magpies face Aston Villa in their first Summer Series game on Sunday, July 23. They will play against Chelsea (July 26) and Brighton (July 28) after that before returning to St James’ Park.
With five days between today and the final game of the American tour, there is at least some remote probability of watching Barnes on the field donning Black & White threads by the end of next week, and most definitely when the Magpies return home to host Fiorentina and Villarreal in back-to-back games scheduled for Aug. 5 and Aug. 6.
Welcome to Newcastle United, Harvey!