Newcastle release official statement on Saudi Arabia trip & confirm surprise friendly

Newcastle United have confirmed that the first team squad are on their way to Saudi Arabia for a week-long warm weather training camp.

The official update reveals that Eddie Howe, his coaching staff and the players are currently en route to Jeddah as we speak and will return to the UK on Saturday, 29th January; a week and a half before we host Everton at St James’ Park on Tuesday, 8th February.

The club have also revealed that the we will play in a behind-closed-doors training match against Al-Ittihad on Friday the 28th January.

A kick off time is yet to be confirmed, however it’s a game against the current Saudi Pro League leaders who have former Toon target Garry Rodrigues and Egyptian international Ahmed Hegazy in their ranks.

This comes after yesterday’s huge 1-0 win over Leeds at Elland Road – a victory that leaves us just one point from safety – and sees us travel to Saudi Arabia for the first time since the PIF completed a £305m takeover on Tyneside last October.

Here’s the club’s official statement in full, released on in the last few moments:

Newcastle United’s first team squad are travelling to Saudi Arabia for a week-long warm weather training camp following Saturday’s victory at Leeds United.

Eddie Howe’s side are currently en route to Jeddah, on the country’s western Red Sea coast, and will return to the UK on Saturday, 29th January ahead of their next Premier League fixture against Everton on 8th February.

As part of the visit, the Magpies will play a behind-closed-doors training match against Saudi Pro League leaders Al-Ittihad on Friday, 28th January (time TBC).

The training camp will be the club’s first visit to Saudi Arabia since it was acquired by a consortium consisting of PIF, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media in October 2021.

A number of European clubs have taken advantage of the Middle East’s warmer climes for training camps in recent years, while Spanish sides FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid and Athletic Bilbao have all visited Saudi Arabia this month as part of the Supercopa de España competition.

Supporters can go behind-the-scenes of Newcastle United’s visit to Saudi Arabia with exclusive content across TV and the club’s official social media channels.

This will no doubt receive plenty backlash and some unwanted attention, but will mean any new signings brought in over the coming week will likely fly out to the Middle East to link up with their new Toon teammates.

So, we leave on a high fresh from yesterday’s huge win and could come back even higher after a warm weather training designed to bring the group closer together, up our fitness levels and make use of the brilliant facilities available.

Let’s just hope we don’t pick up anymore injuries in that friendly next Friday!

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan, he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC!

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