Eddie Howe will give his press conference ahead of Watford on Friday. It will be interesting to hear the team news with so many players missing over the past few weeks due to injuries and Covid.
Howe, of course, has two new arrivals with Kieran Trippier confirmed last Friday and Chris Wood in the door this morning. Trippier made his debut against Cambridge in the FA Cup last weekend.
Wood trained with the lads today so any ill-effects from the groin injury he suffered in Burnley’s 2-1 FA Cup defeat against Huddersfield appears to be minimal. The striker was replaced at half-time.
Newcastle’s push to land a center-back this week appears to have come up short. There’s no movement on our pursuit of Diego Carlos or Benoit Badiashile. Sevilla are reluctant to sell their defender while Monaco want upwards of £50m for Badiashile.
There has also been no reported progress in talks for Hugo Ekitike. Newcastle were reportedly close to a deal to bring the 19-year-old prodigy to Tyneside. The striker missed Reims’ 0-0 stalemate at Clermont Foot on Sunday due to a red card suspension.
A couple of midfielders have hit the headlines today. The Manchester Evening News is reporting that Donny van de Beek’s representatives have sounded out both Newcastle and Dortmund over their interest in the Dutchman. On Wednesday, Luke Edwards reported that both Van de Beek and former-Magpie Giorginio Wijnaldum have come up in discussions on Tyneside.
At the moment, Manchester United are unwilling to sanction an exit for van de Beek while Wijnaldum has been linked with Arsenal. Both would be excellent loan signings but will probably not move until late in the window, if at all.
On Wednesday, The Mail reported that Newcastle were interested in RB Leipzig’s Amadou Haidara. However, the 23-year-old’s £33m release clause is not active until the summer.
There is another report today that Newcastle may try to land the box to box midfielder in this window. If Newcastle can convince Leipzig to sell the Mali international for a reasonable fee in January, this could be one to watch in the coming weeks.
For many, the focus is narrowing in on the six-pointer against Watford. Newcastle are desperate for three points and could climb out of the bottom three with a victory.