NEWCASTLE United head coach Eddie Howe is not ruling out a potential signing before their Premier League opener against Nottingham Forest but concedes that the clock is ticking.

Sven Botman, Nick Pope and Matt Targett remain the club's only acquisitions over the summer but the Magpies business isn't expected to finish there with a month to go in the transfer window. 

The club's main point of attack in the window is bringing in a forward or attacking midfielder. They have recently had a bid for Leciester City midfielder James Maddison rejected but officials are set to renegotiate with the Foxes to bring the England international to Tyneside.

Meanwhile, they have been forced to shelve their interest in Leeds United winger Jack Harrison and Bayern Levurkusen forward Moussa Diaby due to being quoted over inflated prices by clubs. 

A number of clubs have found it difficult to cope with the current climate of the transfer market with teams reluctant to let go players from their squad.

The Magpies are pushing hard to bring targets through the door but with their season getting underway this weekend, does Eddie Howe think they will have a new signing in before they take on newly promoted Nottingham Forest? “Never say never. I’ve been in this game long enough to probably not give a definite answer on that" replied Howe. 

“As the days tick by, that will be more unlikely but we have been trying all window really. We’re desperate to try and improve the group if we can with the right player."

Newcastle secured an 11th place finish in the Premier League last season but there is a hope that the club can build on there success towards the back end of the season where they won five of their last seven games.

However, the feeling is that strength in depth in the squad will elevate the Magpies to the next level with Howe keen to have to strong starting elevens to choose from. 

When asked whether he knew what his starting line-up would be for the opening game of the season: "I think we have got strong squad so for me it is difficult to differentiate the starting eleven and potentially what might not be the starting eleven but I think that is what you want.

"We are building towards the type of squad that can compete with two really strong elevens. I don’t think we are quite there yet but certainly whoever plays come the first game I hope will be ready and ready to perform together to the highest level."