EDDIE Howe says Lewis Hall is "very close" to meeting the requirements that would see the Chelsea defender make his Newcastle United loan move permanent this summer, despite his lack of football for the Magpies.

Hall swapped Stamford Bridge for St James' Park in what was an initially a season-long loan, with an obligation for Newcastle to make the switch permanent for £28m at the end of the season. Howe has previously described the terms of the deal as "complicated".

Hall has been a bit-part player in his first year on Tyneside having made just eight Premier League appearances and one start, but asked for an update on the terms that would see the teenager make the switch permanent this summer, Howe said: "He's getting closer with every game. While I'm not on top of that on a daily basis, I'm sure he's very close."


With Newcastle having to tread so carefully to ensure they don't fall foul of the Premier League's Profit and Sustainability rules, Howe was asked whether the Magpies can merit spending almost £30m on a player who has so far struggled to break into the team.

He said: "He is near the first team. I think the broader look is that every transfer we make is so important.

"We don't have an endless amount of money to spend and financial fair play will restrict us not just now but in the future, so every decision we make we have to try and get right. And you are never going to do that in the transfer market. There will always be mistakes.

"I am not really speaking about Lewis here, I am speaking generally about every transfer we bring in."

Dan Burn has been Howe's first choice left-back this season but the head coach is under pressure to make a change in that area of the pitch after a string of unconvincing displays from the Geordie defender.

Tino Livramento was signed as a right-back but has regularly been used on the opposite side and is pushing for a start.

Howe said: "I see him (Livramento) as a full-back who can play both sides.

"What does he have to do to get in the team? Every team he enters the pitch he has to play well, which he has in my opinion, and he needs to continue to train well. That's all he can do."