The Magpies are set for an exciting summer transfer window – and Football Manager believes there will be some big names moving to St James Park.
The Premier League season may well have ended two weeks ago but the excitement levels at Newcastle United still remain as high as ever.
Eddie Howe’s side made a mockery of pre-season predictions of a push for a top ten place by producing an outstanding campaign that consisted of a first major cup final appearance since 1999, a top four finish in the Premier League table and securing a return to the Champions League after an absence of two decades.
Despite the financial strength provided by the PIF-led consortium in charge of the pursestrings at St James Park, one of the key aspects of the impressive turnaround in fortunes on Tyneside is Howe’s ability to draw significant improvement out of several players he inherited from Steve Bruce. The likes of Fabian Schar, Sean Longstaff, Joelinton and Miguel Almiron have all been integral during what will go down as one of the most memorable seasons in the club’s recent history.
Of course, Howe has been backed in the summer transfer market after his squad was significantly boosted by the arrival of the key players like Bruno Guimaraes, Sven Botman, Kieran Trippier and Nick Pope over the last 18 months – and the Magpies boss is sure to receive further backing this summer as he looks to put together a squad capable of competing with European football’s elite.
But what could lie in wait for the Magpies over the coming months? We fired up Football Manager 2023 to see what the world’s most popular management simulation believes will happen over the summer.
A shock departure as a defensive reshuffle is conducted
The form of Swiss international Fabian Schar has provided a solid foundation for Newcastle’s successful push for a Champions League spot – but the centre-back is set for a move to sunnier climes according to Football Manager. A £15m offer from Serie A club Fiorentina was enough to tempt Howe to allow Schar to depart and he was joined by a number of other defenders heading for the exit door at St James Park.
Javi Manquillo and Emil Krafth both headed to La Liga in £2m deals as they secured moves to Real Betis and Valencia respectively and a £5m bid from Nottingham Forest was enough to see left-back Jamal Lewis making a switch to the City Ground. Ryan Fraser’s unhappy spell on Tyneside came to a close with a £5m move to Leicester City and young duo Garang Kuol and Harrison Ashby both joined Millwall on season-long loans.
Long-serving players released
Several Magpies stalwarts are approaching the end of their current contracts at St James Park and their time on Tyneside is set to come to a close according to this simulated summer transfer window.
Paul Dummett, Matt Ritchie and Ciaran Clark were all let go and found new clubs with respective free transfer moves to West Bromwich Albion, Southampton and Millwall. Mark Gillespie, Kelland Watts, Jeff Hendrick, Loris Karius and Matty Longstaff were also let go and were yet to find a new club – although the latter of that quintet is still working his way back to full fitness after suffering a cruciate ligament injury.
Champions League talents added…but at a serious cost!
It probably won’t be a surprise to anyone to state that the virtual Magpies signed a number of players linked with a move to Tyneside in the real world – but that has more to do with the sheer number of players linked with United in recent months.
The most significant outlay came with a £54m move for Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby, who is believed to have been watched by Magpies recruitment staff on several occasions in recent months. Ajax’s defensive midfielder Edson Alvarez is another player said to be under consideration and he made a £39.5m switch to St James Park in the virtual world.
Fabian Schar’s replacement came in the form of a £26m deal for Nice centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo and the Magpies also saw off competition from Chelsea, AC Milan and Atletico Madrid to land Atalanta’s highly-rated youngster Giorgio Scalvini in a £40m deal. Not all of the Magpies moves involved a significant fee after they added Juventus and France midfielder Adrien Rabiot to their ranks on a free transfer.
Left-back capture completed and highly-rated Championship talent secured
One of the stories of the real world summer transfer window could well be the future of Arsenal and Scotland defender Kieran Tierney.
The former Celtic defender has been linked with a move to Newcastle and Manchester City in recent weeks and it is the Magpies that gave Tierney an opportunity to gain regular first-team football on Football Manager after they secured his services in a £32m deal within days of the window opening.
Another race was won by the Magpies when they saw off a whole host of Premier League clubs to land Bristol City’s highly-rated midfielder Alex Scott for an initial £13m fee, although that could almost double if the England Under-20s star hits a number of acheivements during his time at St James Park.
The overall cost of the window
Outs: Fabian Schar (£15m to Fiorentina), Ryan Fraser (£5m to Leicester City), Jamal Lewis (£5m to Nottingham Forest), Javi Manquillo (£2m to Real Betis), Emil Krafth (£2m to Valencia), Garang Kuol and Harrison Ashby (both loaned to Millwall), Loris Karius, Ciaran Clark, Matt Ritchie, Paul Dummett, Mark Gillespie, Kelland Watts, Jeff Hendrick, Matty Longstaff (all released) Total incoming fees: £29m
Ins: Moussa Diaby (£54m from Bayer Leverkusen), Giorgio Scalvini (£40m from Atalanta), Edson Alvarez (£39.5m from Ajax), Kieran Tierney (£32m from Arsenal), Jean Clair-Todibo (£26m from Nice), Alex Scott (£13m from Bristol City), Adrien Rabiot (Free transfer from Juventus) Total outgoing fees: £204.5m