EDDIE HOWE is hoping to bring in one more player before the transfer window closes – but admits Newcastle United will have to “be creative” in order to make a further addition without breaching Financial Fair Play rules.

Howe has added three players to his senior squad – Sandro Tonali, Harvey Barnes and Tino Livramento - at a combined cost of around £125m this summer, while recouping around £30m from the sale of Allan Saint-Maximin.

His final priority of the summer is to add an additional centre-half to provide cover to the backline, and Newcastle’s recruitment team are currently assessing their options.


However, having warned about the difficulties of remaining with FFP parameters throughout the summer, Howe admits it will not be easy to engineer a deal for a player capable of making an immediate impact on the first team.

“I’d love one more player,” admitted the Newcastle boss, ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League opener against Aston Villa. “That’s what I’d love personally, and I think then we would have the ideal depth at the moment, with the injuries that we currently have.

“Have I been assured that the funds are there to do that? Not 100 per cent. It depends on the deal, and I think we may have to be creative with this last player. It’s difficult to make that a definite because it depends on injuries between now and the window shutting.”

Being ‘creative’ could mean Newcastle attempting to utilise the loan market in the final three weeks of the transfer window, or it could mean they try to engineer a permanent deal with heavily staggered payments that enable them to remain within the limits of the FFP rules.

“There’s nothing close,” continued Howe. “It’s something that we would have to discuss internally, but I think from my position it would be important, and it’s something I would like to do.

“Being creative means that we can’t just go out and slap money on the table to buy a player. We don’t have the resources to do that at the moment with Financial Fair Play restrictions. So, it’s about trying to find a different way, rather than paying money in the here and now, but they’re very difficult deals to do.”

Earlier in the summer, Howe admitted Newcastle were forced to sell Saint-Maximin to Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal in order to be able to fund the purchases of Barnes and Livramento.

Selling another senior player in order to create the FFP leeway for one more permanent addition is a potential option for the remainder of the window, although it is not one that Howe intends to pursue because of the way in which it would negatively impact upon the current squad.

“The problem with doing that, if you’re talking about selling someone to bring someone in, is that you need to bring in two players.

“If you sell someone with the squad dynamic and the balance that we have at the moment, you’ll end up looking for two, and to do one deal in this window has been hard enough. As I sit here now, with the information that I have, I don’t think that is a viable option.”