St James' Park move
Newcastle turn to Howe after Emery rejection
Budget: Eddie Howe (pic: SNS Group)
Former Celtic managerial target Eddie Howe is set to return to football in charge of Newcastle United.
The 43-year-old rejected the chance to take the reins at Parkhead after Neil Lennon’s exit but has agreed a deal in principle to lead the Magpies into a new era under their Saudi-led regime.
He replaces Steve Bruce, who left by mutual consent just 13 days after the £305m takeover of the club was finalised. His departure sparked fevered speculation as to who the new boss would be with Rangers’ manager Steven Gerrard among those linked with the vacancy.
Howe has been out of a job since failing to save Bournemouth from relegation from the Premier League two seasons ago but is reported to have agreed a two-and-a-half-year deal at St James’ Park.
He is said to have impressed new director Amanda Staveley – the chief executive of PCP Capital Partners spearheaded last month’s takeover – during his interview process but will be the club’s second choice after a failed attempt to lure Unai Emery from Spanish side Villareal.
Howe will be handed a multi-million-pound budget to overhaul the team, which is currently sitting second bottom of the Premier League without a win in ten games.
With a fraction of the money he will have at his disposal at Newcastle, he worked a minor miracle on the south coast keeping Bournemouth in the Premier League for five consecutive seasons and the Toon Army will be relishing the prospect of what he may do with a host of big-money signings.
Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho could be among Howe’s first targets. The cash-strapped Catalan club is thought to be ready to allow the £140 million signing from Liverpool to move to the north-east of England on loan with a mandatory option for Newcastle to buy.
Nou Camp keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is another player thought to be on the Magpies’ shopping list with a fee of £47m being quoted for the 29-year-old German international who still has four years of his contract to run.
After failing to land long-time target Howe, Celtic turned to Ange Postecoglou as the man to wrestle the league title back from Rangers.