May 24, 2024

He has been connected with replacing Dan Ashworth at St James’ Park this summer.
Newcastle United could have a new arrival at St James’ Park this summer, but no one will join the first-team or coaching staff under manager Eddie Howe.

The Magpies are looking to replace their Sporting Director, Dan Ashworth, who is presently on gardening leave, amid interest from Manchester United, who are aiming to rebuild their backroom staff.

It was claimed a few months ago that Ashworth reaffirmed his wish to join the Red Devils, but no agreement has been reached for him to quit the club and join Erik ten Hag’s side.

Despite this, the Daily Mail has confirmed that Crystal Palace’s Dougie Freedman is on the Magpies’ final shortlist to replace Ashworth, with United also interested in bringing the 49-year-old to Old Trafford.

The former Palace striker was at Selhurst Park in midweek when Newcastle lost 2-0 to the Eagles, along with members of the Magpies’ hierarchy, including co-owners Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi.

Freedman has built a fantastic reputation for his domestic transfer dealings, recommending the likes of Marc Guehi, Michael Olise, and Eberechi Eze, all of whom are expected to make the club a lot of money after their successive stints – the latter two are expected to leave for £60 million or more each.

There is no disputing that, despite the Saudi PIF’s investment, the Magpies squad requires a change, and the Palace manager fits the description, especially given his recent market triumphs.

That being said, here are three players Freedman may fire right away if he takes over as Sporting Director at St James’ Park.

Callum Wilson

Newcastle United: Callum Wilson details penalty training - BBC Sport

 

Striker Callum Wilson has frequently had to settle for Newcastle’s second-best option behind Alexander Isak, which is reasonable given the Swede’s 21 goals in all competitions this season.

The former Bournemouth forward has only played 23 games this season and three in 2024, scoring eight goals.

He returned from injury off the bench in midweek, but he was unable to make an impact and swing the game in Newcastle’s favour following Jean-Philippe Mateta’s double.

Wilson has clearly been a tremendous servant to the club since his £20 million move from Bournemouth in 2020, netting 46 goals in 105 games, but he has been unable to showcase his talents this season due to ongoing injury difficulties.

He’s been sidelined by two different hamstring injuries, while a calf injury forced him to miss another two months before suffering a chest injury on his comeback in February’s 3-2 triumph over Nottingham Forest.

The striker, who makes a reputed £46k per week according to Capology, is now 32 years old, and his persistent setbacks this season have prevented him from making consistent first-team appearances – his longest run of games without injury is just six.

Wilson has only one year left on his current contract with the club, and he will turn 33 before the end of next season. That being said, Freedman should aim to sell him this summer to prevent losing him for free, with Manchester United and Arsenal previously connected with the forward.

Miguel Almiron

Miguel Almiron: £21m Newcastle United winger close to Saudi Pro League  transfer as fresh claims emerge

 

Miguel Almiron has failed to duplicate his stunning goalscoring run under Howe from last season, when he scored eight goals in only nine Premier League appearances.

He has made 29 Premier League appearances this season, scoring three times, and, like Wilson, has struggled with fitness at times.

The Paraguayan suffered a knee injury in the stunning comeback win over West Ham United and has not played since, missing the following four league games.

With the club definitely trying to strengthen this summer, Almiron might become a victim of the club’s massive spending, losing his first-team berth and possibly being sold entirely.

According to Spotrac, Almiron makes £60,000 per week at St James’ Park and was connected with a £30 million move to Saudi Arabia in January. Talk of the 30-year-old’s prospective departure to the Middle East began after Newcastle’s current CEO, Darren Eales, said that the club must sell players before making any major additions owing to FFP limits.

With the club definitely trying to strengthen this summer, Almiron might become a victim of the club’s massive spending, losing his first-team berth and possibly being sold entirely.

According to Spotrac, Almiron makes £60,000 per week at St James’ Park and was connected with a £30 million move to Saudi Arabia in January. Talk of the 30-year-old’s prospective departure to the Middle East began after Newcastle’s current CEO, Darren Eales, said that the club must sell players before making any major additions owing to FFP limits.

The forward, who has also been linked with a move this summer, is under contract at St James’ Park until 2026, but Freedman may decide to sell him in the summer following his dismal season, allowing the prospective new Sporting Director to work his magic in the window.

Yankuba Minteh

 

According to The Telegraph, winger Yankuba Minteh, who only joined Newcastle last summer, could be on his way out of the club.

The 19-year-old Gambian has nine goals and five assists in 25 outings on loan at Feyenoord in the Eredivisie, where he hopes to gain vital first-team experience.

The teenager has scored more goals than Almiron this season, but he may face the same destiny as the Paraguayan this summer, with the forward potentially allowing the club to cash in and invest in other parts of the squad.

Minteh, who earns barely £4.2k per week according to Capology, had previously been linked with Italian club Napoli ahead of the summer window, although any deal could be contingent on Freedman’s arrival on Tyneside.

He clearly has a lot of quality, as evidenced by his time away from Newcastle this season, but considering Freedman’s reputation in unearthing exceptional new prospects, the Gambian may have to step aside to allow the 49-year-old to work his magic at St James’ Park.

With £110,000-per-week worth of talent available for the Magpies to move on, such monies might be useful as the club seeks to strengthen going forward.

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