Paddy Kenny says he wouldn’t be surprised if Newcastle had to ‘balance the books’ through player sales following the signing of Joe Willock.
The former Sheffield United and Leeds United goalkeeper was speaking to Football Insider.
Newcastle sealed their first signing of the summer on Friday, capturing ‘number one target’ Willock for a fee of around £25m – believed to be the second-highest transfer outlay in the club’s history behind Joelinton.
It had been reported that the Magpies were working with a ‘meagre’ transfer budget this summer amid Mike Ashley’s ongoing attempts to sell the club.
According to The Athletic‘s Chris Waugh, there are ‘whispers’ that the Willock deal may have been financed independently. Steve Bruce would still like two more signings, with a ‘no 6’ and a centre-back on the list. The transfer window is open until 11pm on August 31.
Kenny has said that Newcastle can’t invest £25m in the carefree manner of their Premier League rivals and that players may duly need to be moved on in the next couple of weeks.
He told Football Insider: “Whether they sell players depends on the financial situation there at Newcastle.
“It seems like a huge amount of money for them, that fee. But to everyone else in the league that’s peanuts.
“That just goes to show you the way Mike Ashley runs the club. It wouldn’t surprise me if he does get players out the door to balance the books.
“We’ll have to wait and see what happens with the takeover stuff as well because that could have an impact.”
Who might Newcastle sell to recoup some of that outlay? Sean Longstaff could be a candidate, having been left out of the starting line-up by Bruce on 23 occasions last season, while former Magpies boss Rafael Benitez is believed to be interested in a reunion with the midfielder at Everton.
Longstaff may be into the final year of his contract, but as a talented young Englishman he should still be able to fetch in excess of £10m, so he might be a prime candidate to be sold if, as Kenny suspects, Newcastle are compelled to trim their squad to make back the fee they paid for Willock.
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