Newcastle ‘fears’ justified before £100m bids as striker’s moment eases Everton’s relegation worries

Lewis Oldham
Newcastle vs Everton
Alexander Isak scores for Newcastle United.

Newcastle United are rightly ‘fearful’ of losing Alexander Isak with £100m bids mooted, while Dominic Calvert-Lewin eases Everton’s relegation worries…


After the immense high of last season, this campaign has been an eye-opening one for Newcastle United.

Following years in the wilderness under Mike Ashley, Newcastle’s supporters were being spoiled at the start of PIF’s ownership as they returned to the Champions League quicker than anyone expected.

But injuries and Financial Fair Play constraints have taken hold of Newcastle this term, and they face a troublesome couple of months after a season in which they have crashed back down to earth.

FFP regulations are preventing Newcastle from spending as freely as they would like and after the awoken giant used their new treasure chest of endless funds a lot wiser than Manchester City did at the start of their post-takeover era, it is being widely reported that they will have to take a couple of steps back this summer before they can continue progressing forwards.

This is likely to come in the form of a high-profile sale to balance the books, with Isak and Bruno Guimaraes being linked with moves elsewhere.

While Isak and Guimaraes have proven this season that they are capable of competing at the top level, Eddie Howe‘s long-term vision for Newcastle places them among the best clubs in Europe so it’s hardly surprising that he wants his standout talents to stick around to be involved in the entire building process.

But money talks and with FFP sanctions on the offing, Howe – who suggested this week that “no one connected with Newcastle would want to lose” Isak – may soon have to accept that the striker’s future lies elsewhere.

Their prospects of keeping Isak are not being helped by their rivals being in the market for a new striker heading into the summer and The Sun claim Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are set to ‘launch £100m moves’ this summer with Newcastle ‘fearing they may have to cash in to navigate FFP rules’.

READ MORE: Newcastle stars reassigned to comply with FFP… Joelinton to Arsenal as Man Utd finally land £50m man

This season has had a fair few lows for Newcastle as they exited the Champions League at the group stage, while their prolonged wait for silverware was extended by their failure to go far in the Carabao Cup or FA Cup.

Sitting eighth in the Premier League before Tuesday night’s fixtures, Newcastle’s pursuit of European football is not yet over, but superb form during the run-in will be required to claim a spot. Given their worsening injury woes, this will be difficult.

They got off to a great start by winning in thrilling fashion against West Ham United over the weekend and star man Isak got them on track for another much-needed victory in midweek.

The Magpies took momentum from the 4-3 win over West Ham to make a bright start against Everton, who went behind inside the opening 15 minutes after Isak latched onto a looping pass from Harvey Barnes to find the bottom corner after dribbling past Jarrad Branthwaite.

This finish saw Isak claim his 19th goal in his 32nd game of this season and a last-ditch block later denied him a second – which would have rounded off another stellar performance – so Newcastle are right to be ‘fearful’ as the preying sharks of North London threaten to swipe the Sweden international away in the summer.

Watching on from the touchline, Toffees head coach Sean Dyche would surely had been hoping £100m Isak was wearing blue instead of black and white.

And those feelings may have intensified further when Paul Dummett’s needless foul on Ashley Young inside the penalty area gifted Everton a spot-kick with five minutes remaining.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin – who was without a goal in his 18 Premier League appearances since October – stepped up to take and Martin Dubravka got a hand on his effort but to the relief of the out-of-form forward, the goalkeeper could not quite keep it out as Everton grabbed an equaliser.

Newcastle’s reaction to the climax of this game will contrast to the West Ham silliness as this frustrating stalemate dampens their European hopes and in turn, their prospects of keeping Isak and/or Guimaraes beyond this season.

As for Everton, this result is not enough on its own to stop the rot with their winless Premier League run now extended to 13 games, but it provides a timely boost in morale, especially with finance expert Kieran Maguire warning them that a second points deduction for breaching Profit and Sustainability rules is “inevitable”.

Luckily for Everton, Sheffield United and Burnley are going down with a whimper, while Luton Town – as fun as they have been – have collapsed when they have been in the ascendency and have valuable let points slip away.

The prospect of a second points deduction gives Luton Town and Nottingham Forest – who earned a vital 3-1 home win over Fulham on Tuesday – hope, but the sight of Calvert-Lewin returning to the scoresheet would not have been welcomed by Everton’s rivals fearing relegation.