Speaking on a Zoom call from Saudi Arabia, Eddie Howe has spoken to the press about all things NUFC as we approach the final few days of the January transfer window.
Without naming names (Bruno Guimaraes!), he’s confirmed that we are ‘close’ to securing a new signing, insisting that we are also in the market for few more players ahead of Monday’s 11pm deadline.
He’s expecting a few youngsters to go out on loan and says moves away for senior players will depend on incomings – a nice way of putting it when it used to be the other way around under Mike Ashley!
Elsewhere, he’s confirmed that he and the players met with club chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan this week, explaining how it was a ‘great experience’ to bring everyone closer together and learn the PIF’s exciting plans for the future.
On the injury front, Howe has revealed that Federico Fernandez is still “some way away” from returning, however he’s shared good news on Lascelles, Joelinton and Dummett. The former has trained – despite limping off at Leeds – and the latter pair aren’t believed to have suffered anything serious.
Here’s what Howe’s had to say on all of the above:
Howe on Bruno Guimaraes ahead of reported medical in Brazil:
“Until it’s signed and sealed, and everything’s agreed, I don’t think it’s right to talk about who it is, or any details behind that.”
“We are hopeful we’re getting closer to completing a transfer for a player.
“We’ll try and give you that update as soon as we have it but fingers crossed we’re close to getting one over the line.”
“Everybody’s working incredibly hard – as they have throughout the window – to improve the squad.
“Fingers crossed that we’re getting closer.”
Howe on the other incomings:
“From my perspective, I don’t imagine that [Guimaraes] will be the end.”
“We hope to have a busy last couple of days.
“We’re really pleased with what we’ve done so far and, if we can add one more quite quickly, then we’ll be delighted with that.
“In this moment now, we feel we’re closer to giving you some good news.”
Howe on potential loan signings:
“As we sit here now, that isn’t available to us right now.
“There isn’t something that we’re close to doing in the loan market – but, maybe things will happen late and we’ll have to adapt and react very quickly.”
Howe when asked if outgoings are likely:
“Definitely with a couple of younger players, we’re happy to get them some game time by sending them on loan.
“If there’s anyone more senior than that, it would depend on incomings.”
“We’ll make the right decisions on that closer to the window shutting when we know where we are.
“We have to get that balance right, especially with the younger players, but the majority of the squad will stay intact.”
Howe on meeting with Yasir Al-Rumayyan:
“I’ve spoken with the chairman [Yasir Al-Rumayyan].
“We met with him one of the days and that was a great experience to hear his thoughts on the club and his vision and how the future looks.
“I think the players enjoyed that. I enjoyed that.
“A lot people around the PIF team have been here as well.”
“It’s brought everyone closer together and been a good experience from that point of view.”
Howe on PIF’s ambitions for the club:
“There’s huge ambitions at the club an through time I’m sure those will be reality.
“The long term will take care of itself.
“But I have to be careful – my work is day-to-day, minute-to-minute, to make sure the players can win the next game.”
Howe on tonight’s training match vs Al-Ittihad:
“Everything we do is to try and see the rewards of that in matches.
“We desperately don’t want any injuries.
“It’s a game that will be played in extreme heat and it’s slightly shorter at 70 minutes.
“I want them to enjoy it.”
Howe on team-bonding during our training camp in Jeddah
“The lads had an afternoon in the sand (dancing) with the locals.
“I thought it was great, but I didn’t go as I was busy on transfers.
“We have been go-karting with the group, and attended the Saudi/Oman match last night.
“Training has taken priority.”
Howe on injuries:
“Fede is back running with physios but he’s not training so he’s still some way away.”
“Jamaal Lascelles has trained this week so that’s a positive.”
“Joelinton and Paul Dummett haven’t trained but we don’t think their injuries are too serious.”