Gulf Today

Coach Howe confident Newcastle can keep star names


LONDON: Eddie Howe is confident the scale of Newcastle’s ambition can keep the club’s sought-ater big names such as Alexander Isak and Bruno Guimaraes at St James’ Park.

Record signing Isak has been linked with Arsenal and Totenham, while Paris Saint-germain (PSG) have repeatedly been touted as suitors for Brazil midfielder Guimaraes.

Both have become key figures for Howe and the 46-year-old has litle intention of leting either leave in the summer transfer window despite pressures to comply with Premier League spending rules.

Speculatio­n over potential high-profile exits has increased since chief executive Darren Eales admited in January that the club may need to sell star players to enable further investment in the squad.

Eighth-placed Newcastle are realistica­lly out of the running to secure a second successive season of Champions League football following an injury-marred campaign.

But manager Howe hopes the direction being taken by the club’s owners will be enough to persuade his star men to stay.

Asked on Friday if European qualificat­ion would help that process, he said: “It will help, but I don’t think it will be the defining factor. That’s in the players’ hands and the club’s hands. Europe would certainly help.

“A lot will depend on our ambitions and where the club is going to go in the foreseeabl­e future. I don’t think one season necessaril­y dictates that, it’s the general feeling of where the club is going to go.

“We as a football club need to continue to push forward. You set your ambitions not just in terms of talking, but in actions, so we need to show to them that we are a club moving forward.”

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