EDDIE HOWE has admitted Newcastle United’s refusal to shatter their wage ceiling will be the biggest barrier to the club’s pursuit of world-class talents this summer.

Newcastle rounded off the season with a 1-1 draw at Chelsea this afternoon, meaning they finished the campaign in fourth position and will be playing Champions League football next season.

Attention now switches to the summer transfer market, with Howe having held a transfer meeting with co-owners Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi in London on Saturday evening.

Newcastle already have a number of long-standing targets, with the likes of Declan Rice, James Maddison and Moussa Diaby all remaining of serious interest.

However, with the Magpies’ current highest earner, Bruno Guimaraes, believed to be earning around £120,000-a-week, and both Rice and Maddison understood to be demanding around £250,000-a-week in wages, bridging the gap to the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool will not be easy.

“We had discussions last night,” confirmed Howe. “Those discussions did take place. I don’t think a budget is ever outlined because there’s always so many variables to it, but we certainly know where we stand.

“Is the budget big? Well, when you’re sat in my shoes, it’s never as big as you want it to be. Financial Fair Play, as I always say, will impact what we do this summer. Certainly, without Champions League football, it would have been very difficult for us to have done much in the transfer market at all. The fact we have that has given us a bit of a lift.


“I always say this – I think the most important people at the football club are the players we already have. I’m the type of manager that will try to get the best out of everybody here who is already under our employment. Then, we’re looking to add quality players.

“But it’s not just the transfer fees (that are an issue), it’s also the wages. We’re not huge players of wages in the Premier League, so the big clubs will all dwarf us in terms of that. That makes it hard to attract the very, very best players on the market.”

Howe watched his Newcastle side sign off with a point at Stamford Bridge, with Anthony Gordon’s ninth-minute opener being cancelled out by a first-half own goal from Kieran Trippier.

The Magpies spurned a number of good opportunities before the break, and saw teenage debutant Lewis Miley clip the top of the crossbar in the closing stages.

“It was a tough game, a really tough game,” said Howe. “The conditions were difficult, it was very hot, I can vouch for that from the side of the pitch.

“I thought we did really well in the first half. We were a real transitional threat and should have been ahead at half-time. We missed some really good chances, and the second half was tough.

“Chelsea came into it and made some really good substitutions, with high-quality players coming onto the pitch. We’re probably pleased to get a draw in the end.”