Newcastle United is actively pursuing options to strengthen its midfield, with football insider David Ornstein of The Athletic reporting a high likelihood of the club securing a loan deal for a midfielder before the transfer deadline in a Q&A held on Thursday, Jan. 25.
This reported transfer (in the shape of a loan, mind you) comes amid a midfield crisis and following the announcement of Joelinton having to undergo season-ending surgery ruling him out for the remainder of the year.
The club’s widely-reported issues (not quite there, but getting dangerously close to the limit) with the financial constraints imposed by the Financial Fair Play (FFP) and the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules are major considerations when it comes to exploring loans this month instead of full transfers, especially given Newcastle’s spending of over £400 million in recent seasons.
According to Chris Waugh of The Athletic, Eddie Howe seeks an “athletic, dynamic midfielder” to partner with Bruno Guimaraes in the no. 6 role. This new addition would ideally be skilled in advancing the ball from defense to offense. However, securing a new signing remains uncertain due to Newcastle’s close monitoring of its financial situation, most-probably leading to a loan deal for the next four months instead of a fully paid transfer.
A loan with a must-buy option attached to it is seen as an optimal approach to navigate the financial constrains during the second half of the season, as that type of operation would allow the club to defer some costs into the summer and bake them into next season’s accoutns.
With Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips now gone to West Ham, the options are reportedly down to Ederson of Atalanta, Amadou Onana of Everton, Philip Billing of Bournemouth, and Scott McTominay of Manchester United.
As it’s been the case in past windows, Howe’s preference is to land someone accustomed to the Premier League so it wouldn’t take that player no time to adapt to the league and produce from the first time he graces the pitch. That, obviously, comes with the negative of limiting NUFC’s potential targets.
At the very least, however, it’s nice to hear from insiders reporting Newcastle’s front office is working on bringing some reinforcements to the team for what is looking to be a long and pivotal few months ahead of the club if they want to clinch an European-football berth by May.