Newcastle boss Howe identifies five signings with ‘early Maddison bid likely’

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe wants as many as five signings as he seeks to ensure the Magpies build upon this season’s achievements after qualifying for the Champions League for the first time since the 2002/03 season. The North East club saw a top-four finish mathematically confirmed following the 0-0 draw with Leicester on Monday night and now work will begin on their summer recruitment plan.

It’s understood Newcastle are targeting the biggest transfer window since they were taken over by the Saudi Arabia-backed consortium in late 2021.

According to The Telegraph, internal meetings will take place at Newcastle in the coming days to decide on formal targets and the club’s spending power.

Nonetheless, it’s claimed Howe wants a right-sided centre back, left back, two midfielders and a versatile attacker that can play anywhere across the front-line.

The report also notes that an early bid for James Maddison is likely.

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Leicester are now on the brink of relegation and will have to overcome all odds to survive on the final day of the season if they are to preserve their top-flight status.

Maddison was named on the bench on Monday night as Dean Smith attempted to soak up pressure and hit Newcastle on the counter-attack.

The Foxes were unable to score a goal, however, meaning their fate is now out of their hands – something which could favour Newcastle’s transfer ambitions.

Howe wants Newcastle to continue shopping smartly in the market after overseeing great success with transfers since arriving at the club in 2021.

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“I think we’ve been really, really good in the three transfer windows so far since I’ve been here,” Howe said of Newcastle’s transfer ambitions.

“The challenge gets harder and more difficult because, now we’ve become a better team, there are fewer players who would make us better, so it’s going to be a big window for us.

“It won’t be huge numbers – I don’t think it can be. We don’t have the ability to spend the money that people will think we have, so we’re going to have to be smart. It will be a small group of players, but hopefully ones that can make the difference.”

Newcastle are believed to be targeting Arsenal left-back Kieran Tierney but they face competition from Aston Villa.

The Magpies have also been linked with Neymar in the past few days but those claims are believed to be wide of the mark with Newcastle not currently pursuing the Paris Saint-Germain superstar.

Director of football Dan Ashworth is also keen to sign younger players with big potential, although improving the squad is his immediate priority.

Ajax starlet Mohammed Kudus is another player that has been monitored.

Hungary captain and RB Leipzig attacking midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai is another player of interest.

That said, Szoboszlai will not come cheap after registering 14 goal involvements in 30 Bundesliga outings this season at the age of 22.

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