EDDIE HOWE has admitted Newcastle United could leave themselves in a difficult position if they opt to sell Callum Wilson this summer.

Wilson’s future is the subject of mounting doubt as he prepares to enter the final year of his current contract at St James’ Park.

Given his injury record – he has only made nine Premier League starts this season – and the benefits in terms of Profit and Sustainability calculations if he was to be sold this summer, there is a good chance that the 32-year-old could move on.

Clubs in the Saudi Pro League have been credited with an interest, but Howe is extremely reluctant to lose one of his most experienced performers.

While Wilson’s increasingly chequered injury record will always be a cause for concern, replacing him could be a costly and difficult challenge.

“Of course, (availability) forms part of your planning,” said Howe. “It would be foolish for me to say otherwise. Anthony Gordon can play as a striker, but you lose him from his winger position.

“We need a squad that can deal with all types of absentees and problems, which you’re going to get during a season. That is what we’ll try to build.


“But all I’ll say on that, and I’ll urge the word “caution”, is that to sign strikers of the ability to score goals in the Premier League would cost you an awful lot of money.

“I have to get the balance right between doing that and exposing ourselves in other areas, where the money might need to go.”

Newcastle completed one bit of contractual business this week with Alex Murphy signing a new long-term deal on Tyneside.

The teenage defender has had a breakthrough year, forcing himself into the first-team frame, but Howe has hinted he could be lined up for a loan move in the first half of next season.

“My plans for him are that he continues to push and train well, and push the players that are in the team,” said Howe. “I'm really pleased with his progress this year, I think with his training time with us, he's really improved.

“He can play left-back or centre-half, he's athletic and very composed on the ball, a really good footballer.

“There will come a time for Alex where we'll need to expose him to the team or maybe a loan spell but that's further on in the future. For now, his focus should be to try and get into the team.”