NEWCASTLE: Eddie Howe has revealed Premier League clubs were reluctant to deal with Newcastle United at the end of the summer transfer window, with the Magpies being viewed as a clear and present top-flight threat.
The Magpies tried to land a number of additions in the final days of trading, most of whom were based at current Premier League clubs.
Newcastle United were keen to sign the likes of Lucas Moura from Tottenham and Douglas Luiz from Aston Villa, as well as a host of players on the books at Chelsea and Leicester City.
However, the window closed on Thursday evening without the club adding to the record-breaking capture of frontman Alexander Isak.
Howe, speaking ahead of this weekend’s clash with Crystal Palace, revealed how Newcastle found top-flight clubs tough to deal with — and what impact he believes that has had on the club.
“I don’t think I can go into details of deals, but I think we have certainly found there is no one there ready to do us a favor,” he said.
“It’s the narrative regarding us that has changed. I think if there is anything domestically, teams will put their price up if it is Newcastle. That is the same around the world, that is something we are having to deal with.
“That is why we have walked away from a few deals because I think it is important we are not seen as that club that will pay what is asked. I think it has to be fair.”
There seems to be a siege mentality building on Tyneside, a state of mind that is only strengthened by the behavior of other clubs in the transfer window.
The 2-1 loss to Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday also highlighted the situation, with United booed off the park by the Liverpool faithful and goaded by some on the Reds’ bench.
Has all of this brought the group closer together?
Howe said: “I think that is a difficult one on transfers to say it has brought us closer together. The most important thing in terms of being together is the players and the staff, and everything that goes on here at the training ground.
“I would say we couldn’t be more together at the moment.
“There is a real feeling of us internally knowing we are against everybody else. That is healthy and I would embrace that.”
Some sections of the Newcastle fanbase felt let down by the club’s failure to add another midfielder to their ranks, with the squad, at present, looking a little threadbare in that department.
Howe is not of the same mindset.
“I’m OK with that,” the head coach replied when asked if he shared that final day disappointment.
“We were trying right up until the end of the window, but sometimes things look like they’re going to get done and for whatever reason, they don’t happen.
“There’s no blame attached to that, that’s the window; you’re dealing with other clubs, agents, players.
“We were actively trying to do one or two things that would have made a difference for us, but it didn’t happen.”
All in all, Howe agrees he is delighted with the four items of business handled by the club this summer, with Isak, Sven Botman, Nick Pope and Matt Targett added.
“A very good window for us. From my side, we set out a very clear vision at the start of the window of what I wanted it to be. It’s never perfect, never absolutely as you want it to be, but from the board down, everyone has given their all to create the best squad possible,” he said.
“I found the window difficult and very long. I’m pleased it’s shut and we can concentrate on football, but very pleased with the squad that’s left.”
On the final day of the window Newcastle did trim their senior squad, with Federico Fernandez making way for Elche, Matty Longstaff heading to Barnsley and Martin Dubravka going out on loan to Manchester United.