RIYADH: Eddie Howe is determined to keep former Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius at Newcastle United.
The former Reds No. 1 only signed for the Magpies in September and made his debut for the Magpies in the 5-0 win over Al-Hilal at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium.
In an impressive 45 minutes — he was replaced by Mark Gillespie at the break — Karius made a string of goal-saving stops to keep a clean sheet.
Head coach Howe admits he was impressed by the impact of the former Champions League keeper, and he wants to secure the player on a longer term deal, with his current contract set to run out in January.
Howe said: “I think he did really well. We came under pressure in the first half and I thought he made some good saves.
“Since he’s been with us, he’s steadily improved. His distribution was very good, so a good night for him.
“I’d like him to stay but obviously the two parties have got to agree, so fingers crossed.
“I think he’s been a very calming influence. He’s a goalkeeper with a lot of experience.
“He’s trained well and is a very good character and very popular in the changing room: the lads have really taken to him.
“He’s a positive influence and that’s why I’d like him to stay.
“I think that’s down to how he’s trained because he hadn’t trained a lot when he entered the club.
“We were in a difficult situation after the injury to Karl (Darlow) and, as I say, he was a calming influence. He brought stability behind the scenes.
“Steadily, with the amount of goalkeeping he’s done now, he’s improving all the time.”
Speaking after the game, Karius revealed he is set for discussions about his future.
He said: “We’re going to have some talks and see what we’re going to do, but of course I can see myself here for longer and hopefully get some more appearances in the future, also competitive.
“That’s my aim, that’s what I’m working for every day and, at the same time, I’m supporting all the other guys.
“I think there’s a good chance I can stay here longer, but we’ll have to have that discussion over the next few weeks.”
Howe has been speaking with Newcastle’s owners over the policy the club will adopt in the January transfer window.
When asked how those talks have progressed, he said: “Very well. It’s just conversations at this stage. The big thing is a lot can change between now and January.
“We’ve talked and had discussions over what it may look like but there is such a long time before that window opens and we’re still very flexible over what we’re going to do.”
While co-owners Mehrdad Ghodoussi and Amanda Staveley jetted off to Qatar to witness England’s World Cup quarter-final against France on Saturday evening, the rest of the United group remained at their Olaya base in the commercial heart of Riyadh.
Howe took his players for a recovery session at Optimo leisure complex in the city on Friday.
Much of the club’s staffing operations have switched from the Four Seasons to the Novotel Al-Anoud, a short walk away, due to the arrival of the Chinese entourage of President Xi Jinping in the Kingdom’s capital.