Eddie Howe was asked about some of his players that have been the subject of transfer speculation in recent weeks. It’s been reported that both Ryan Fraser and Karl Darlow are free to leave this month with the pair both keen on more playing time.
Fraser reportedly asked to leave in the summer but the inability to add a wide player scuttled any chance of his leaving. With the winter window open, the 28-year-old could be allowed to depart to clear room for new arrivals.
Fraser has not made a matchday squad in the league since Boxing Day leading to speculation he will be moved on this month. Howe was asked about Fraser’s recent absences during this morning’s press conference and provided the following:
“No, he’s not injured. He’s training. He’s just got to keep training well. Keep training hard.
“He’s a valued member of the squad. I know Ryan better than anybody and I know what he’s capable of.
“I’d love to see him back in a Newcastle shirt.”
There seems to be little outside interest in a permanent move for Fraser. Though there are reportedly a number of clubs, both Premier League and Championship, that could be interested in a loan.
Fraser has made just 8 appearances this season with the emergence of Miguel Almiron on the right wing limiting his chances. Jacob Murphy has also blossomed as an impact substitute dropping Fraser down the pecking order.
Karl Darlow has been linked with a loan move to Hull City. The Tigers are looking to add competition for Matt Ingram with Chelsea loanee Nathan Baxter back at Stamford Bridge rehabbing an elbow injury.
Howe was asked about Darlow’s future. He didn’t rule out a move for the long-serving 32-year-old but suggested nothing was imminent saying:
“There’ll be no one going out before tomorrow. We assess the squad on a daily basis and depending on what’s happening, there’s lots of noise and lots of things going on, but we certainly want to keep the squad intact.”
Darlow is likely to leave this month with Loris Karius extended until the summer. It will be interesting to see who the backup is tomorrow with Martin Dubravka cup-tied. Karius has not made a matchday squad since before the World Cup break.
The head coach was also asked about the rumor that Turkish club Besiktas was close to signing Jonjo Shelvey. Howe refuted that claim stating the following:
“I’ve been surprised at all the speculation.
“I’ve got no idea where that has come from. It’s certainly not come from us. Jonjo is a very valued member of the squad.”