EDDIE HOWE has ruled out a lavish summer spending spree at Newcastle United – and warned that the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules will severely limit the club’s ability to splash the cash in the transfer market.

Having been taken over by an ownership group backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, Newcastle have been branded with the label of being the ‘richest club in the world’, fuelling a flurry of speculative stories linking them with some of the world’s biggest players.

The Magpies spent almost £100m in the January transfer window, making four permanent signings and also bringing in Matt Targett on loan from Aston Villa.

There will be further additions when the transfer window opens later this summer, but with the Premier League’s financial rules limiting clubs to a cumulative loss of £105m over a three-year period, Newcastle’s hands are tied when it comes to the amount they will be able to spend on transfer fees and wages.

The intention, in the longer term, is to increase income by signing new sponsorship deals and significantly growing the club’s commercial arm, but for the immediate future, spending will be capped. As a result, this summer’s transfer budget is expected to be around £80m – slightly lower than January – although that could be swelled by any income from player sales.

“With Financial Fair Play, we have restraints and things that we have to work within, so we can’t just go out and spend money on players like maybe teams could have done in the past, and totally change their squad within one transfer window,” said Howe.

“That is not an option for us. The more money you spend in one window, the more it impacts your ability to then spend in windows beyond. The rules are there to govern the game properly, and we have to follow suit, so that does impact what we can do this summer.

“But it doesn't mean that we’re totally without ambition. We want to try to bring the right players in, ones that are proud to wear the shirt and that can make a difference.

“We’re well aware that we have to change the squad and we have to make improvements, but it’s going to be a difficult balance.”

Having prioritised the purchase of experienced performers in January because of Newcastle’s perilous position close to the bottom of the league, one of Howe’s aims in this summer’s transfer window is to begin to reduce the overall age of his squad.

The Magpies have a relatively large number of players in the 30s, and Howe accepts that could create problems further down the line if it is not addressed.

Unlike in the Mike Ashley era, there will not be a blanket ban on signing players in their late 20s or 30s, but there is a clear desire to pursue younger targets this summer, with the January purchase of 24-year-old Brazil international Bruno Guimaraes having established a template that Howe is keen to adopt.

“I think January, in a specific window, we felt we needed Premier League experience, Premier League-ready, and we couldn't take chances on younger players with different levels and who would take time to adapt to the team,” said Howe.

“We were after a very specific player in January. I think that changes now. We need to look at the age of the squad. It goes without saying that every year the squad gets a year older and, before you know it, if you're not careful you can become imbalanced, and that's something we need to consider and think about going forward.

“I think it’s all about balance and I think it's about the positions, so that's not to say we won't sign experienced players. It is what the position needs and requires, rather than the necessarily the age of the player.

“But I am aware that we have a number of players who are of a certain age, 30 or above, and you've got to be careful, you've got to look at it and make sure you're not too weighted in one direction because that can have a negative impact on performances. It's something we're very aware of.”

Years of underinvestment under Ashley have created an understandable pent-up desire among some supporters for immediate widescale spending on the squad, but Howe is clearly having to juggle a number of competing demands as he ponders his options this summer.

He appreciates the way in which expectations changed when the takeover was announced last autumn, and while he continues to preach a mantra of ‘evolution not revolution’, he remains convinced Newcastle will make lofty ambitions a reality in the not-too-distant future.

“The club will get there,” he said. “I am a believer that the club will get to where it wants to be. The time it takes to get there, I think that is something no one can predict.

“In terms of a massive spend, there are rules in place to stop that. It is all linked to boundaries we have to work towards. But we will do our best to produce a better team.”