Newcastle chief told to sign three stars ‘at all costs’ as Howe makes Arsenal man one of ‘top targets’

Jason Soutar
Newcastle manager Eddie Howe, Kieran Tierney and Moussa Diaby

Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe has reportedly told sporting director Dan Ashworth to ‘pull out all the stops’ to land his top three summer transfer targets.

Howe has a huge summer ahead of him with the Magpies set to return to the Champions League having last played in the group stage of the competition 20 seasons ago.

The north east outfit are well ahead of schedule having been taken over by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund in October 2021.

Many expected them to be competing for the top four after two or three seasons but in their first full season without Mike Ashley at the helm, they are third with six games remaining.

No team has lost fewer Premier League games this term and Howe’s side have the best defensive record having conceded 26 goals, three fewer than Manchester City.

Howe is working absolute wonders and deserves an incredible amount of praise.

He has spent a fair whack since being given the job, but it would be fair to say that many people expected Newcastle to be a lot more free-spending than they have been.

In fact, their approach has been very conservative. Initially, after they were taken over, some fans expected to see the club pursue the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Harry Kane.

That has not been the case, however. They have bought smart and invested in young players who can help them reach their goals right now.

Alexander Isak, Bruno Guimaraes and Sven Botman have all been hugely successful since being bought for big money, meanwhile, cheaper and more experienced players like Kieran Trippier and Nick Pope have been excellent.

Last summer was a huge transfer window for Newcastle, and this year’s summer window promises to be even more important with Champions League football set to return to St James’ Park.

From the outside looking in, it has to be said that Howe should be looking to sign another left-back and forward as his priority, while the addition of a centre-back and defensive midfielder would not go amiss.

Fabian Schar has been solid this term but is obviously not the long-term answer next to Botman in the heart of Newcastle’s defence.

A new left-back coming in at the end of the season feels inevitable and the Geordies have been strongly linked with Arsenal’s Kieran Tierney – who is also attracting interest from Manchester City.

Tierney’s injury record is a bit of a worry, but he would be a stellar addition and is surely open to the move having fallen out of favour under Mikel Arteta.

And according to Football Insider, the Scottish international is one of Howe’s top summer targets.

As well as Tierney, the Newcastle gaffer wants to sign Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby and Leicester City playmaker James Maddison.

The Magpies have been linked with all three players for quite some time now, but have previously been put off by Leverkusen’s asking price for Diaby.

Maddison is out of contract in 2024 and given Leicester’s woeful campaign, will likely leave this summer.

The club’s owners are ‘prepared to back’ Howe in the upcoming transfer window and the former Bournemouth boss believes all three players can ‘slot straight into his starting XI and improve it’.

All three targets have been ‘presented’ to the club’s sporting director, Ashworth, who has been told to ‘pull out all the stops’ to get them through the door.

Tierney is reportedly valued at around £30million by Arsenal – where he is highly thought of but not suited to the left-back role Arteta asks of first-choice Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Should Leicester be relegated to the Championship, Newcastle will try to snap Maddison up for a ‘bargain price’.

The 26-year-old England international has previously been valued at around £50m.

Diaby, on the other hand, will probably cost a similar fee, which is very good for a player who has scored 14 goals and provided 10 assists in 41 matches this season.

Arsenal are also believed to be interested in signing the French winger.

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