Newcastle owners confident of pouncing quickly for January transfer targets

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Eddie Howe Newcastle United - PA
Eddie Howe Newcastle United - PA

Newcastle United’s new owners are confident they will be able to move swiftly at the start of the January transfer window to land their targets and have not encountered any reluctance from rival clubs to do business with them.

Newcastle are still speaking to interested candidates for the vacant sporting director’s position at St James’ Park and have presented a list of names to chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan for consideration.

But the process has been described as “diligent and thorough.” It has also not reached a conclusion.

The board will not be rushed into making a decision to fill that vacancy as they feel they already have the infrastructure in place to make the signings desperately needed next month.

This has led to some concern that Newcastle will be slow to react when the window opens in just under a month, with every deal needing to be signed off in Saudi Arabia.

But sources have told Telegraph Sport that a huge amount of work has already been done and they will “move quickly” when they need to.

Every area of the side is being looked at, even though the most pressing area of concern is in defence and the centre of midfield.

The new owners have been given a list of suitable players by head of recruitment Steve Nickson, which will be discussed with manager Eddie Howe, with the intention to make their first signing shortly after the window opens.

No reluctance from domestic rivals to do business

Interestingly, the club are also not working to a strict budget, but will instead decide each potential deal on merit. If a player is available and it is agreed he can make an instant impact on Eddie Howe’s first team, they will look to make it happen rather than worry about making the deal fit into a precise sum of allocated funds.

Although a number of prominent agents have attempted to position themselves to work on behalf of the club, Newcastle are resisting getting into those sorts of relationships with intermediaries.

It is understood the consortium of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, Amanda Staveley and Jamie Reuben have looked at the mistakes made by others new to the Premier League and wish to retain the freedom to work with whoever they need to get deals done rather than a preferred agent or agency.

Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard, Chelsea’s Ross Barkley, Liverpool’s Nat Phillips, Burnley's James Tarkowski, Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier and Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Winks are just some of the names who have been discussed.

It remains to be seen if any of those deals can be finalised, but senior figures at the club have not come across any reluctance to do business with them from domestic or foreign rivals.

That is despite claims from within the game, particularly in the immediate aftermath of the takeover in October, that clubs would refuse to sell players to Newcastle in the hope they would be relegated at the end of the season.

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