Eddie Howe plans £65m Dominic Solanke swoop as first Newcastle signing ​

He spends what he wants

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Former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe looks set to finally get a new job on Tyneside and is planning to recruit a few old reliables once he’s in the door at St James Park.

With money no object under the new owners, Newcastle are expected to make a splash this January and the ruddy-cheeked tactician is already making plans to move for some Cherries stalwarts.

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A well-placed Tyneside source confirmed some of the initial discussions.

“Eddie drove a hard bargain with the new ownership group – when your name’s mentioned for every mid-table or lower job, you always have some leverage. ‘Give me the gig now – I’ve got Celtic on speeddial here’ and holding up the phone was a masterstroke in the negotiations – it really got the Newcastle board sweating.”

“And Eddie was clear that he’d need a £200m transfer kitty to overhaul the side and keep this team up.”

Our source went on to confirm several of the 43-year-old’s top targets should he finally put pen to paper.

“Dominic Solanke’s the first name on the list. Eddie’s convinced he can get the best out of him the second time around,” we were told.

The pair “worked together”, in the loosest sense of the term, at Bournemouth, when the forward joined from Liverpool for a club record £19m despite only scoring once at senior level for the Reds, and Solanke continued that form in his Premier League performances for the Cherries, netting just four times in 46 appearances before they were relegated in 2020.

Newcastle United supporters gather to celebrate outside the club’s stadium St James’ Park in Newcastle upon Tyne in northeast England on October 7, 2021, after the sale of the football club to a Saudi-led consortium was confirmed. – A Saudi-led consortium completed its takeover of Premier League club Newcastle United on October 7 despite warnings from Amnesty International that the deal represented “sportswashing” of the Gulf kingdom’s human rights record. (Photo by – / AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

“It won’t be easy to get him as he’s banging them in for Bournemouth in The Championship this season. but, when you factor in inflation, the English tax, and that Newcastle can spend whatever they f**king want, £65m should be enough to seal the deal.”

Howe wants to pair the ex-Chelsea prospect up with Benik Afobe, scorer of 11 goals in 70 games for Bournemouth after a £10m transfer to the Vitality Stadium in 2015.

“You just look at Benik’s CV – Millwall, Bristol City, Stoke, MK Dons, Sheffield Wednesday, Wolves, Wolves and Wolves again when they sh*t – that’s the kind of experience that could be invaluable when… I mean if Newcastle are relegated.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 29: Benik Afobe of Millwall reacts during the Sky Bet Championship match between Millwall and Bristol City at The Den on September 29, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Jacques Feeney/Getty Images)

“But he’ll be a snip – just £25m or thereabouts is our estimate, which leaves approximately £110m to spaff on the next Jordon Ibe from the Liverpool Academy,” our source explained.

Howe’s imminent appointment comes after former Arsenal manager Unai Emery turned down the Magpies.

“Both sides were keen, but his plan to bring in David Luiz proved a final stumbling block – Fabricio Coloccini is the only Sideshow Bob lookalike centre half who the Geordies will ever take to their hearts,” our source explained.

Meanwhile, reports that Newcastle’s new owners have turned up at a Gateshead Sports Direct demanding their money-back on the club sale have been dismissed by a spokesman.

“While the team looks dodgier than yer da road-running in that £15.99 Donnay tracksuit that’s two-size too small, we are in this for the long-haul,” they said in a statement.

“Or at least until the Glazers want to sell Man United.”

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