NEWCASTLE’S ownership group will meet to firm up their January transfer plans in the next two weeks, with Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe having emerged as an early potential target for the turn of the year.

Directors Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi are due to meet with Newcastle chairman Yasir al-Rummayan, who is the head of the club’s majority owners, the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, before the end of the international break to discuss their options for the January window.

Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe will also be involved in the discussions, which will help to finalise a budget for when the transfer window reopens at the turn of the year.

With Newcastle having spent around £120m on Sandro Tonali, Harvey Barnes and Tino Livramento in the summer, and committed more than £30m to the likely purchase of Lewis Hall when his current loan deal expires at the end of the season, there is unlikely to be scope for major incomings in January.

However, with the Magpies fighting on four fronts this season, and hoping to qualify for Europe again next term, there is a determination to do everything possible to support Howe’s ongoing attempts to continue driving Newcastle forward.

It is understood that Smith Rowe has already been discussed within Newcastle’s recruitment team as a potential target, with his lack of game time with Arsenal this season potentially opening the door for a transfer.

The 23-year-old’s only senior start for Arsenal this term came in the Carabao Cup, and his only Premier League involvement came courtesy of two substitute appearances that amounted to a combined total of ten minutes.


He was an unused substitute as Arsenal beat Manchester City at the weekend, and while he boasts three senior England caps, the fact he was not even considered for Gareth Southgate’s current squad underlines the extent to which his career has stagnated in the last year or so.

The Londoner has also been linked with a possible move to West Ham United, and while Mikel Arteta will be reluctant to lose anyone in January with his side in the midst of a Premier League title challenge, the Spaniard could come under pressure to allow Smith Rowe to leave if an acceptable offer is received.

It has been suggested that Arsenal value Smith Rowe at around £50m, but FFP rules would almost certainly force Newcastle to be creative when it came to putting together a deal for the attacking midfielder.

Ideally, the Magpies would almost certainly prefer an initial loan deal with a view to a permanent transfer in the future, which is the arrangement that enabled them to complete Hall’s summer move from Chelsea. Whether that would interest Arsenal remains to be seen, although Arteta did agree to the loan departure of both Kiernan Tierney, to Real Sociedad, and Albert Sambi Lokonga, to Luton Town, in the summer.

Newcastle will also look to move on another two or three of their fringe players in January in an attempt to further balance the books.

Allan Saint-Maximin and Karl Darlow left in permanent deals in the summer, while a further eight players headed out of Tyneside on loan, but there is scope for further trimming of the squad.

Emil Krafth and Javier Manquillo have both tumbled down the defensive pecking order in recent seasons, with neither having played a single minute of senior football so far this season. Admittedly, Krafth has been battling against injury issues for the last year, but with Livramento’s arrival having given Howe guaranteed cover for Kieran Trippier at right-back, the Swede will be allowed to leave. Similarly, Manquillo is surplus to requirements with Hall also looking for opportunities to step in at full-back.

However, while Jamaal Lascelles was touted as a possible departee in the summer, the Magpies skipper will not be going anywhere at the turn of the year. Lascelles was recalled to the starting side earlier this month to replace the injured Sven Botman, and impressed in the wins over Manchester City and Paris St Germain, and the draw with West Ham. As a result, Newcastle will not be inviting approaches for his services at the turn of the year.