Newcastle transfer book: Magpies offered cash incentive to Barcelona star and recruiting dynamic explained

Newcastle United recruiting manager Steve Nickson has so far played an important role in the club’s affairs in January.

No director of football has yet been appointed, former GM Lee Charnley left and Nick Hammond’s role mainly that of consultant on certain targets, Nickson has conducted most of the discussions with representatives of Kieran Trippier this week.

Former youth scout Blackburn Rovers has remained at Newcastle despite the changes at the top.

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But Amanda Staveley and her husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi drove the transfer fee.

Asked about the dynamics of the window, Howe said, “We’re looking at a more collaborative effort.

“I was delighted with the way the relationship formed.

“At the end of the day, as a manager, I have to take full responsibility for everything that happens. I am ready to do it.

“I will take full responsibility for the players who enter.

“There is no way I can watch all the players that are offered to me.

“But by signing a player, I have to know everything about him, his strengths and weaknesses.

“Real details. And it takes time. That’s why I look slightly tired. This month is a big change.”

Barcelona defender remains an option

A loan offer from Barcelona to take Samuel Umtiti until the end of the season will include an incentive for Newcastle.

Eddie Howe said today that he does not have a “blank checkbook” at his disposal despite suggestions that there is a bottomless pit in St James’ Park.

Center-back Umtiti has plenty of money at Barca up to £ 16million a year.

But the financially struggling Nou Camp club are ready to pay a cut in their wages, something Newcastle might like if they close the deal.

Matty Longstaff’s future is still unclear

Eddie Howe has said he will wait a few weeks before deciding what to do next for Matty Longstaff.

The player is back at the club after a loan spell at Aberdeen.

The choice is straightforward for Howe to either loan him to an EFL club or use him in his squad.

With injury issues in midfield, one would think Longstaff would be close to having a chance, but Howe played down talks of an immediate return to the squad.

When asked if he would play against Cambridge, he replied: “You will have to wait for the squad sheet”.

There is a feeling Howe will go with a senior squad given Newcastle’s lack of playing time during the holiday season.

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