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Eddie Howe confident Newcastle will keep star names

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Eddie Howe confident Newcastle will keep star names

The Magpies play Fulham on Saturday

Eddie Howe is confident Newcastle’s ambition can keep the club’s sought-after big names on Tyneside.

Record signing Alexander Isak’s blistering run of goalscoring form has this week seen him linked with North London duo Arsenal and Tottenham, while Paris St Germain have repeatedly been touted as suitors for Brazil midfielder Bruno Guimaraes.

The Magpies’ hopes of securing a second successive season of Champions League football have been all but mathematically dashed during a campaign which has been littered with long-term injuries, but head coach Howe hopes the direction being taken by the club’s Saudi-backed owners will be enough to persuade his star men to stay with the project.

Asked if European qualification would help that process, he said: “It will help, but I don’t think it will be the defining factor. That’s in the players’ hands and the club’s hands. Europe would certainly help.

“A lot will depend on our ambitions and where the club is going to go in the foreseeable future. I don’t think one season necessarily dictates that, it’s the general feeling of where the club is going to go.

“We as a football club need to continue to push forward. You set your ambitions not just in terms of talking, but in actions, so we need to show to them that we are a club moving forward.”

Isak, who cost Newcastle £63million when he joined from Real Sociedad in 2022, will head for Fulham on Saturday with 19 goals to his name, while Guimaraes has established himself as a fans’ favourite at St James’ Park since his £35million capture from Lyon in January of the same year.

Both have become key figures in Howe’s strongest team, and the 46-year-old has little intention of letting either leave this summer despite the perception from outside the club that he may need to sell to comply with profit and sustainability rules.

Asked if he feared a transfer window of fending off approaches, he said: “I don’t fear that. In some senses, that’s what you want because it means your players are playing at a level that everyone appreciates and I want my players – all of them – to be playing above what they think they’re capable of being.

“So no, I don’t think fear is the right word. I want Alex to keep scoring goals, I want him to keep being in the headlines – I’m sure he wants the same thing – but we want to keep him long-term.”

On Guimaraes, he added: “Let me tell you, players like Bruno, they are not around every corner. They are very rare. Bruno should be appreciated for everything he brings. My intention would be to keep Bruno at the club for as long as we possibly can.

“I can never make guarantees though. That would be absolutely foolish of me. We have been in football long enough to know you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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