Newcastle: PIF now lining up ‘marquee signing’ at St James’ Park

Newcastle United are lining up ‘marquee signing’ with Champions League football close

Newcastle United are close to clinching a Champions League spot and that will bring new expectations for boss Eddie Howe.

The success from this season has raised the bar over how quickly this club can establish themselves as a European force and Howe will now be told he must continue to meet the high expectations he has set.

The Newcastle board is fully understanding of the job he has in hand here, with ambition through the roof and their owners PIF willing to spend whatever it takes to make sure they take a firm grip on the game.

Could Newcastle sign an elite player this summer?
As part of that Newcastle will go into the summer transfer window with open eyes over what can be achieved and whether an elite star can be unveiled.

It has been reported that Neymar is a potential option and that level of signing is totally in line with the Saudi ownership’s dreams.

Newcastle will look for upgrades across the squad in the coming months and as part of that Howe will be allowed to recruit carefully in some respects, as we have seen so far in his reign.

That should mean players like Manchester United’s Scott McTominay and Southampton’s James Ward Prowse are pursued as both have the Premier League pedigree Newcastle are looking for.

But Howe is also going to have to come on board with the fact Newcastle want a marquee name – and a star signing will bring its own tests and challenges as this team build moves onto a new level.

Neymar is an example of their aspirations as the club feel they might be able to take big steps at a time when other top clubs in England are going through periods of transition.

What has Howe said about signing a big name at Newcastle?
Howe recently tried to play down Newcastle’s chances of recruiting mega-names to the club as he remains keen to manage this build in a cautious manner.

He said: “We are never going to be in a position currently to afford those transfer fees and wages, so we need to go underneath and find them young and develop them into the players they can be. I will say the transfer market is such a complex decision, you can’t just pick a name and bring them in.

“There’s got to be a lot of thought going into what we’re doing both financially and looking at the players. I know what direction I want to take the team in and what we can and can’t do in the transfer market. A lot of the names will not be accurate.”

But Champions League qualification would give Newcastle more breathing space in terms of Financial Fair Play and even if it is not Neymar they land, the top tier of transfer targets is certainly now coming into view.