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Eddie Howe: Miguel Almiron out with illness, not sold

Miggy missed Saturday’s matchup but should return to the pitch next week.

Chelsea v Newcastle United - Carabao Cup Quarter Final Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Newcastle visited Fulham for a fourth-round FA Cup matchup on Saturday, beating the hosts at their stadium in London 2-0 and earning a place in the fifth round of the only competition they can win this season.

Miguel Almiron was ruled out for the game with an illness, and Eddie Howe insisted the forward the victory at Fulham through illness amid transfer speculation. “Almiron has a genuine illness,” the manager claimed.

Howe was asked after the match if Almiron could be sold. “It’s difficult,” said Howe while explaining Miggy’s and NUFC’s situation entering the final days of the January transfer window. “I’m not in hourly contact with what’s going on and I’m a step removed. There is a possibility someone could leave. That hasn’t changed.”

Although he didn’t make it sound like a farewell message, Howe praised Almiron’s contributions to his team, saying, “This year he’s worked incredibly hard and been reliable for us. He’s always been fit and hasn’t missed many games and that’s been vitally important to us when we’ve had so many injuries to our attacking players. He’s not underestimated by me in terms of his personality and what he produces on the pitch so of course I would like to keep him.”

Saudi Arabian club Al-Shabab has reportedly been interested in acquiring Almiron through January, submitting an offer to Newcastle in the past few days to complete a transfer if the Magpies accept the bid.

Despite initial rejections following that £17 million bid, negotiations between Newcastle and Al-Shabab have reportedly continued in the past few hours even with the Saudi club having already secured another attacking player in veteran Sevilla Ivan Rakitic.

Almiron, who signed a three-year extension in February last year, extending his contract with Newcastle until June 2026, reportedly prefers to stay with the club for at least the rest of the season as he’s settled in Tyneside and has grown to become a fan favorite while with the Magpie organization.

However, Newcastle is approaching the red line when it comes to breaching the FFP and Premier League sustainability rules, which means Howe needs funds if he wants to bring in a new midfielder. That, by extension, could lead to Almiron’s departure.

There’s no arguing Almiron has been a key player for Newcastle since he arrived from Atlanta United in January 2019, having racked up 195 appearances already while scoring 30 goals for the club. He’s also represented the Paraguay international team at the senior level 53 times scoring seven goals.

In other news, Newcastle full-back Kieran Trippier dismissed rumors of a January transfer following the Bayern Munich saga developing this week.

Trippier told BBC, “There’s been a lot of speculation about me recently, but I’ve always been committed to the club as I have been since I first signed and there’s no place I’d rather be. I’m happy here. Was it unsettling? No. I’m a professional, I’m experienced, and I try to block all the noise out.”

Trippier’s comments reaffirm his dedication to Newcastle amid the ongoing transfer speculations, with the Magpies rejecting an initial loan approach by the German giants and then two bids for a full transfer to the Bavarian powerhouse, making it clear Newcastle won’t be gifting players away if suitors don’t pony up the money needed to extract pieces from Tyneside.