Newcastle manager Eddie Howe said Friday that Premier League financial rules could force the club into selling star midfielder Joelinton at the end of the season.
Newcastle have been a revived force in English football since a takeover by the Saudi Public Investment Fund in October 2021 when they sat 19th in the Premier League table.
But off the field, the club are not immune from Premier League financial fair play regulations and they may now have to sell some of their leading players after posting a £73 million ($93 million) loss for the 2022/2023 season.
Joelinton, could be among those leaving St James’ Park, with negotiations over a new contract for the £40 million star having stalled.
He is set to miss the rest of the season after undergoing thigh surgery and Howe, asked if Joelinton had now played his last game for the Magpies, said Friday: “I’m not a fortune-teller and I certainly hope that is not the case. There is a possibility that could be the case, but I don’t know.
“Eighteen months (left on a contract) is a vulnerable time for a club. The club will need to tie Joe down to a longer-term contract or there is a possibility he will be sold in the summer. That is just the reality of the situation.”
Nevertheless, Howe, speaking ahead of Newcastle’s FA Cup tie away to Fulham on Saturday, added: “As his manager, I’m determined for him to stay. I love him as a person and a player…But of course there’s more to it than that.
“There’s Joe’s wishes and what he wants. Before he signs a contract he has to be entirely happy with everything. We’re not at that stage yet.”
Newcastle finished fourth last season to return to the Champions League for the first time in 20 years and reached the League Cup final.
However, they were not as active as expected in the pre-season transfer window and have paid a price this season as an injury crisis has left Howe’s squad on its knees.
A run of seven defeats in nine games saw Howe’s men crash out of Europe and drop to down the Premier League table — they are currently in 10th place.
But Newcastle’s ability to spend in the transfer market has been hampered by financial fair play (FFP) constraints.
The financial figures for last season showed a £70 million rise in turnover to £250 million.
But chief executive Darren Eales said earlier this month that still left Newcastle well behind their rivals for a place in the Premier League’s top six.
“To put it into perspective, we want to be a top-six sustainable club and Tottenham’s latest accounts available, (total revenue) was £440 million. We are at £250 million, so there is a big step even to the lower end of the top six,” Eales explained.
“We have also seen that Manchester City are £710 million in revenue in their latest accounts. There is a long way to go in growing those revenues.”
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