The Lowdown: Quiet January window
Despite publicly talking about Financial Fair Play constraints, that seemingly hasn’t stopped Howe from wishing for ready-made top-flight players to arrive this month, with players such as Youri Tielemans also being heavily linked.
The Latest: PIF send Howe clear transfer message
However, Waugh has admitted on Pod on the Tyne that while PIF are willing to be flexible, they’ve sent Howe a transfer warning that they will not and cannot repeat last year’s transfer splurges.
He said: “Although Eddie Howe is keen to strengthen this month if possible with one or two Premier League-ready additions who can really aid their push for European football or whatever it may be, I think there is caution from other levels of the board, who are not against Newcastle signing someone – and they’re going to be flexible enough for if the right player at the right price becomes available, they may do a deal.
“I suppose it is a warning to Howe that if we do have to do that, then some summer spending will have to be frontloaded to now, because we can’t just keep spending money.”
The Verdict: Newcastle must spend carefully
It could perhaps be seen as reckless by many if Howe was to demand PIF bring forward some of the summer money to satisfy his needs this month, as it only ties their hands further down the line when it comes to future recruitment.
If Newcastle manage to stay inside the top four, they will almost certainly need serious investment in the summer to be able to compete in both the Champions League and the Premier League – which may not be possible if Howe wishes to go big this month.
Therefore, this month should be one where Newcastle look for young players to build the foundations of the club for years to come and also target players that could be signed at smaller prices because of their contractual situations such as Tielemans.