Newcastle United fail Donny van de Beek loan but optimism grows over Diego Carlos deal

Those talks are ongoing and there is cautious optimism that he will be a Newcastle player when they face Leeds United next weekend. Liverpool’s Nat Phillips is also a player of interest, as is Tottenham’s Joe Rodon.

Newcastle’s need for defensive back-up was on full display again in the 1-1 draw with Watford at the weekend. The Magpies took the lead through Allan Saint-Maximin early in the second half but lost their attacking momentum and fell into the trap of trying to defend a slim lead. Watford secured a point, which kept Newcastle in the relegation zone, when Joao Pedro headed an equalizer three minutes from time.

The goal was poor to concede, with Newcastle giving up possession on the cheap after a quick and wasteful shot from goalkeeper Martin Dubravka when he should have held the ball to let time run out.

Captain Jamaal Lascelles was then beaten in the air by Pedro, the Watford player left the space inside the area to take a running leap and rise above Newcastle’s centre-backs past the Gallowgate End.

It was a blow to Howe who had spoken openly of needing to win the game against one of his relegation rivals and there were boos after the final whistle.

Along with the need for new defenders, Howe is also keen to take the players for a training and team-building exercise next week, with Saudi Arabia the likeliest destination.

Although nothing has been confirmed at this stage and other destinations were considered over the weekend, the Saudi government is keen for them to head to the Middle East. PIF owns an 80% stake in the club and wants to show off their new acquisition to the rest of the Middle East.

It is likely to inflame critics of the takeover, who have consistently argued the Saudis are using Newcastle to clean up their international reputation in the face of growing criticism of the regime led by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

It is not believed that Howe or the players will meet the Crown Prince, although there are various PR events being held to show their presence in the Kingdom. It is unlikely that British media will be invited to Saudi Arabia to cover the training camp.

Comments are closed.