NEWCASTLE: Eddie Howe believes the signing of Kieran Trippier could be the catalyst to convince wavering world stars to join the Newcastle United revolution.
The PIF-financed project at St James' Park was kick-started on Friday with the $16.2 million arrival of England international Trippier from La Liga champions Atletico Madrid.
And for Newcastle, Arab News has been told, this is only the start as the Magpies look to recruit a further five new faces before the transfer window in England closes at 11 p.m. (GMT) on Jan. 31.
Howe thinks the capture of former Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur defender Trippier is a real statement of intent by the club's new owners, especially so early in the window.
And the head coach is sure this deal will do no harm in convincing others that Newcastle is the place to be, despite their lowly Premier League position. United are currently 19th in the top flight table at the halfway point of the season.
“We are delighted with the signing,” said Howe. “(He is) A player I know very well from our time at Burnley together. I know he is going to bring a huge amount on the pitch and off it. Off the pitch he has a winning mentality and is driven to succeed. All of the experiences he has accumulated in the game will help us in our current position.
“On the pitch we have an outstanding technical player who will attack very well and add calmness to our play on the ball. He is a top defender as well.”
The 31-year-old right-back leaves Atletico on the back of winning a league title in Spain and walks away from Champions League football to be part of Project Rebuild at United.
Howe said: “This club has a huge pull. Kieran hasn't come here for the financial benefits of the contract. He has come for the club and the challenge that the team faces, as well as the longer term vision. With his signing, I think other players around the world will look at it and share this vision - it could be big for us.”
On Saturday, the Magpies start their FA Cup campaign - Newcastle are six-times winners of the competition - at home to lowly Cambridge United.
Will Trippier, handed the No.15 jersey, be available?
“Possibly, we are working towards that,” said Howe. “We need to be given the greenlight by the relevant bodies for that.”
Newcastle have now turned their attention to central defensive recruits with Lille's Sven Botman and Diego Carlos, of Sevilla, as top priorities.
Arab News understands that United are in negotiations with the French champions to sign Netherlands international Botman, and the player is reportedly keen on the move.
When quizzed on the situation, Howe refused to be drawn on specific targets.
Speaking from the club's Benton training base, he said: “I can never comment on individual players due to respect of the player and the club he plays for. I never want to avoid questions but on those type I have to steer clear.”
When pushed further on positions or the numbers of signings, he said: “I can't give any promises on that. We have been working on it for a considerable amount of time. We want to improve the squad. And at the moment there is nothing imminent. The outlook changes by the hour and that's the way this window will be.
“We are working very hard to improve the squad but we're in the hands of clubs selling players, agents, players wanting to come. There's no guarantees. It might sound simple from the outside but it's very different when you're on the inside. I'm confident but I have no promises.”