Eddie Howe showed signs of concern over Newcastle United’s transfer business to date after Friday night’s game against Atalanta.
That’s according to ChronicleLive’s Aaron Stokes, who believes that for the first time this summer, the Newcastle boss was visibly frustrated by the club’s inability to sign a forward so far this window.
Nick Pope, Sven Botman and Matt Targett have all been brought in to shore up the defence, but journalist Dean Jones recently claimed that PIF are still focused on bringing a centre-midfielder, a wide player and a centre-forward to St James’ Park before the transfer window closes.
Meanwhile, Sky Sports News reporter Keith Downie has stated that their pursuit of a striker in the right ‘mould’ is becoming a struggle – and Stokes feels that Howe has finally displayed some concern.
Speaking on the Everything is Black and White podcast, he said: “You could tell on Friday night when we put it to Howe, I think he was, for the first time this summer, maybe notably frustrated.
“He did say he wasn’t frustrated with the club, but he said he was just more frustrated as to how the market was playing out. If you’d asked him a month ago, I think he’d thought he’d have another attacker in by Forest.
“We asked him on Friday whether he thinks there would be another body in and he said ‘never say never’, but he also said he’s been in the game long enough not to give us a direct answer.
“He keeps his cards close to his chest, but for the first time this summer, I thought he sort of let us know that he was for the first time a bit concerned that they hadn’t gotten another player in.”
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The Magpies were the biggest spenders in Europe in January, but ahead of Howe’s first full campaign in charge, they have shown that they won’t be bullied in the market and will carefully go about their business – as typified by their decision to walk away from a move for 20-year-old French striker Hugo Ekitike due to agent fees, despite having agreed a £33m transfer with Reims.
However, it has left the English coach in a position that he couldn’t have foreseen heading into the opening weekend of the season.
But the club clearly intend on doing further business, having had two bids rejected so far for Leicester City ace James Maddison – while The Telegraph’s Luke Edwards has backed the club to make one more ‘big splurge’ (07:31), so perhaps the best is yet to come on Tyneside.