Newcastle outline transfer plans ahead of Sela Cup as $40m deal edges closer

 Newcastle United will look to add two more players to their ranks before the close of the transfer window — that is the view of head coach Eddie Howe.

Speaking before the inaugural Sela Cup, presented by Visit Malta, Howe discussed the imminent $40 million deal for Southampton and former Chelsea defender Tino Livramento, as well as outlined his desire for more transfers before the window slams shut on Sept. 1.

On 20-year-old Livramento, who is expected on Tyneside in the next 24 hours after a fee was agreed with the recently relegated Saints, Howe said: “I’m slightly in the dark on that, unfortunately. Let’s see what happens in the next couple of days. Certainly, I like the player.”

Livramento has spent a large part of the last 12 months recovering from an ACL injury to the knee, which he suffered at the back end of the 2021-22 campaign. That has led some to question whether the Magpies, driven largely by sporting director Dan Ashworth, should be splashing out such a sum on a supremely talented and promising player, but one who is yet to fully recover from such a serious injury.

Howe added: “Without talking directly about Tino, that’s why we do thorough medicals and that will be down to that aspect of the football club to make sure any player we sign is in good physical condition.”

The Magpies came into the window with an expectation that they would add another central defender, a striker and a left-back to their ranks. However, that plan has already been revised and revised again as the summer has progressed.

Midfielder Sandro Tonali and forward Harvey Barnes have strengthened Howe’s hand so far since the end of last season, but the head coach wants more, although has accepted that a striker may now be off-limits.

“Ideally, I’d love to bring in two players. But let’s wait and see; there’s no guarantees,” said Howe.

“I don’t think it’s an area (forward) we can strengthen in, currently, because of transfer fees associated with that position. It would be beyond our capabilities at this current time.

“We have two recognized strikers (Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak) but we have Anthony Gordon who can play in that position and showed during the under-21 Euros that he’s more than capable of playing very well in that position. That would bring our numbers to three so I don’t think that’s an area we’re looking at.

“We don’t want to carry a huge squad. We want anyone in the squad to feel like they have a part to play. Certainly, we don’t have the various competitions that we’re involved in so we need to be robust enough to deal with that challenge. Let’s see what happens. Maximum (I want) is a couple of players but let’s wait and see.

“We have a very good squad when everyone is fit. The problem is guaranteeing that fitness for everybody throughout the season. You know you’re going to get injuries at some stage, so we have to have the depths to deal with those problems.”

Newcastle take on Fiorentina and Villarreal in their final two preseason games this weekend, with the Italians heading to St. James’ Park on Saturday, and the La Liga outfit a day later.

The games form part of the first ever Sela Cup, which is also welcoming French side Nice to Tyneside.

“We don’t have a totally fit squad. Fabian Schar, we’re going to make a late decision whether he’s involved in the games over the weekend,” said Howe.

“Certainly, he’s very close, so that’s a positive thing. Joe Willock won’t be involved in either game as he’s still working his way back to full fitness. Emil Krafth won’t be involved.”

Another player who will be absent is January signing Harrison Ashby, who has joined second-tier Swansea City on loan.

On that deal, Howe said: “I think it’s crucial for his development that he plays games. Certainly, I think he has done well in the preseason but games are the next thing he needs because he’s never really had that in his career, a regular run of games.”

A huge feature of the Sela Cup this weekend is the return of women’s football to St. James’ Park.

Newly professional Newcastle United Ladies take on West Bromwich Albion Women after the men’s clash with Fiorentina.

Boss Becky Langley is thankful for another opportunity to showcase women’s football to a wider audience.

“One person who has never seen women’s football might stay and watch the women’s game after the Newcastle men’s game,” she told

“So, actually, that’s just one more person watching a women’s football game which might spark the interest and grow our audience.

“It’s absolutely brilliant and I’m excited to see what sort of crowd we can get.”

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