For Newcastle to sign a player next month, excluding any under 21, they’ll have to pare down some of the current squad. Eddie Howe already has one player in Mark Gillespie who is not in the 25-man squad.
Goalkeeper Lori Karius was signed on an emergency basis in September due to Karl Darlow’s ankle injury. Darlow has returned and made the bench in the final two league matches before the break with Karius getting the call as the backup in the Carabao Cup win against Palace.
Karius’ contract reportedly expires at the end of the year. So we could see the German let go despite his seamless transition into the squad. He’s always seen smiling away in training and post-win photographs. Hopefully, Howe triggers his extension to the end of the season.
Matty Longstaff returns from his loan spell with Colchester in January. The midfielder returned from a hamstring injury for a cameo over the weekend in a 3-0 win over Doncaster. The local lad’s contract runs out in the summer with little hope of him signing another extension.
The Chronicle is reporting that both Ryan Fraser and Matt Ritchie are attracting attention ahead of the winter window. Fraser has found playing time difficult with the resurgence of both Miguel Almiron and Jacob Murphy. Ritchie has barely featured this season and is currently getting close to returning from a calf injury.
Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley recently declared he would be thrilled to add Ritchie to his ranks though doubted a move for the winger was feasible. The Chronicle believes numerous Premier League and Championship clubs are coveting Fraser.
Howe would likely be open to allowing Ritchie to leave. The 33-year-old is in the final year of his contract. Interestingly, Matt has taken charge of youth training sessions during his injury layoff as he hopes to earn coaching badges.
Allowing Fraser to leave is a more delicate subject. He is in his prime and while inconsistent and prone to injury, has significant value on the pitch. He can cover both flanks and Howe would need a replacement before allowing him to leave.
There are plenty of outgoing decisions up in the air as the winter window approaches. We could see some difficult but necessary moves made if the two Mattys depart the club. It would also be sad to see Loris leave without making his NUFC debut.