Newcastle United are preparing to spend aggressively in the January transfer window in order to ensure the clubs Premier League status. Just two points clear of the relegation zone, despite successive unexpected victories over Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, the North East clubs recruitment department are examining options to strengthen their senior squad in every position.
A new striker, creative midfielder and central defender are priorities for Newcastle, who have made it clear that they are ready to finance both high transfer fees and wages to secure the correct recruits. Known for a relative conservativeness in the transfer market since Mike Ashley rationalized his investment in the club, Newcastles readiness to spend reflects the owners fear of losing broadcast revenues expected to be worth a minimum of £97million for the 2016-17 season.
Ashley bought Newcastle – one of Englands best supported football clubs – for around £134m in 2007. The southerner initially spent heavily on coaching staff and players before cutting his personal funding of Newcastle; eventually offering it for sale while making an alternative investment in Glasgow Rangers. An attempted takeover of the Scottish club was blocked earlier this year with Ashley then stating that he would not sell Newcastle until they had won a trophy under his ownership or got “into a position of being in a Champions League place.
Far from competing at the top end of the Premier League, Newcastle have spent the majority of their first season under manager Steve McClaren as relegation candidates. Two of their four League wins under McClaren have come in the last eight days – a 2-0 home defeat of Liverpool, and a 2-1 victory at Tottenham.
McClaren has been cautious when discussing the change in results, talking about how Newcastle “have taken ourselves to the brink of crisis and clawed our way back” after Liverpool, and arguing that “we havent turned the corner yet following Sundays win in London.