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  1. Howe hopes Isak can face Wolvespublished at 10:32

    Newcastle boss Eddie Howe says there is a chance Alexander Isak could make his debut against Wolves on Sunday.

    The Magpies are set to sign the Real Sociedad and Sweden striker, 22, for a club-record £60m.

    "It's not completed. We hope to get it done," said Howe.

    When asked if he could be signed in time to play at Wolves, he said: "Yes, fingers crossed.

    "There's no guarantee with these things because we're in other people's hands, but hopefully."

    The Magpies made their move after a hamstring injury to Callum Wilson.

    "We're hopeful that Callum will only be out for a couple of weeks - but naturally we reacted slightly off that," Howe added. "It changed our focus maybe slightly on the type [of attacking player].

    "But we're delighted to hopefully sign Alex, who will be a big player for us.

    "He will add those qualities he has - he has pace, technical ability, dribbling ability, he has got a bit of X-factor about him.

    "He is slightly different and I think he is capable of scoring goals."

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  2. Howe on injuries, Dubravka, Wilson and the 'complete performance'published at 10:31

    Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has been talking to the media about Sunday's trip to Wolves.

    Here are the highlights from his news conference:

    • Right-back Emil Krafth is going for a scan today. He suffered an injury in Wednesday's Carabao Cup win over Tranmere. "It doesn't look too good which is a real shame for Emil and for us," Howe said.

    • Dan Burn and Ryan Fraser will be available for the Wolves game, while Jamaal Lascelles should be too after a facial injury during that cup game.

    • The Toon boss says Manchester United have spoken to them about goalkeeper Martin Dubravka but hopes he stays.

    • On Dubravka Howe said: "I don't think he's in talks with Manchester United. There has been contact between the clubs. I'm very reluctant to lose any important players to the group, so that's a decision that will be out of my hands."

    • Howe says he hopes striker Callum Wilson will only be out for a "couple of weeks" with a hamstring injury.

    • He hopes £60m Real Sociedad striker Alexander Isak will be signed in time to face Wolves on Sunday.

    • Howe says he wants a "complete performance" against Wolves after five points from three games. He added: "In different ways, in each game we've had some really good aspects to our performance so we want to put all that together."

  3. A panic buy or a decent deal? Your thoughts on Isak's feepublished at 09:09

    Your views banner

    We asked whether or not the £60m Newcastle are set to pay for Alexander Isak is too much.

    Here are some of your thoughts:

    Neil: Isak looked really promising in the Euros but I think £60m is excessive, £30m would be the top they should have to pay. We need some more striking options that’s for sure, I just hope that Newcastle aren’t taken for a ride due to their new-found wealth.

    Tom: Not sure how Isak can be considered too much with Anthony Gordon being sold for more! The market is crazy but there is a going rate right now; judging by the above it doesn't look like a bad deal where I'm sitting!

    William: I think that £60m is way too much for Isak. However Joelinton was a lot and is great. We need to strengthen up front and the only way to do that is with money.

    Jamie: The owners are showing that they'll pay over the odds if needed. They've stuck to their guns up until now and made some bargain buys. We'll see at the end of the season. Looking good, and we're playing entertaining football for the most part.

    Ron: Isak is a panic buy - £60m for a striker who only scored tree goals from open play last season? We’ve made some good purchases so far but this one smacks of desperation. I wait to be proved wrong.

  4. 'The Salt Bae effect' - Is Isak worth £60m?published at 08:47

    Alexander Isak is not worth the £60m Newcastle are set to pay for him according to Guillem Balague.

    Real Sociedad's Swedish international will become the Magpies' record signing, smashing the £40m they paid for Joelinton in 2019.

    Balague told BBC Radio 5 Live's Euro Leagues podcast: "What a deal. Everyone is amazed.

    "We knew of the interest of Newcastle towards Isak. It makes sense in the way that Eddie Howe wants to run the team. This is a guy that is very fast, drives well with the ball, not the greatest finisher – he only scored six last season – but there is the potential there.

    "I’m not sure you pay £60m for a potential player, but in any case it’s one of those. If you’ve got the money, why not?

    "I don’t think he is worth that money, but he had a buyout clause. Of course Isak trebles his wages, so there wasn’t going to be any doubt from him."

    Kristof Terreur added: "It’s what I call the Salt Bae effect.

    "Everyone knows the famous chef who puts the salt on the steaks. He has a restaurant in Turkey where you can eat the same steak for 50 euros or for 60 euros, but in London you pay 900 euros.

    "The Premier League is the same. You pay 60m euros for a player that another team might have paid 25m for in Europe."

    Hear more from 40'00 on BBC Sounds

  5. Have Newcastle achieved 'elite' status already?published at 17:24 25 August

    Graphic showing points per game of every Premier League team in 2022. 1. Liverpool (2.41), 2. Man City (2.38), 3. Tottenham (2), 4= Newcastle, Arsenal (1.95), 6. Chelsea (1.71), Brighton (1.48), 8. Crystal Palace (1.32), 9= Brentford, Man Utd (1.3), 11. Leeds (1.26), 12. Leicester (1.22), 13. Wolves (1.17), 14. West Ham (1.14), 15. Aston Villa (1.13), 16. Southampton (1.05), 17. Everton (0.88)

    Newcastle's results in 2022 have been those of a top-four club, according to data analysts Gracenote.

    With two-thirds of the year gone, only Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham have a better points-per-game in 2022, with Newcastle level in fourth with Arsenal (who have won their opening three fixtures of the season).

    Simon Gleave, head of sports analysis at Nielsen Gracenote, said: "If Newcastle sustain their current points per match until the end of the year, it will be the best calendar year performance by a non-big-six club since the 'big six' became established in 2009.

    "Newcastle United's Premier League performance in 2022 suggests that they may already be part of the elite in England."

    Over a full season, a points-per-game of 1.95 would equate to 74 points, enough for a top-four finish in each of the last four seasons.

    Check out the full piece here

  6. 'Newcastle have got to pay over the odds to get players in'published at 15:58 25 August

    Alexander IsakImage source, Getty Images

    La Liga commentator Jon Driscoll, told BBC Radio Newcastle that "no other team" would pay £60m for Alexander Isak because of his "awful" stats from last season.

    "Realistically, if he was moving within La Liga, he's moving for £15m euros," Driscoll told BBC Radio Newcastle.

    "The transfer market has gone crazy between La Liga and Premier League Clubs and Newcastle are at the top of that madly distorted market.

    "The clubs in Spain are desperate to sell their players to Premier League teams because they can see teams like Newcastle with saddle bags full of cash!"

    On what Driscoll made of the striker last season, he said: "He's not a bad player but his stats last season were awful.

    "He scored six goals, of which two were penalties and one a direct free-kick.

    "His work in the penalty area is pretty poor, but he has qualities because he's a big, fast striker who works incredibly hard.

    "I'm not saying he won't add something to Newcastle's squad but realistically there's no other team, other than maybe Manchester United, who would be paying £60m for him.

    "Newcastle are in a place where they've got to pay over the odds to get players in."

    Are Newcastle paying too much? You tell us here

  7. Wolves v Newcastle: Head-to-head recordpublished at 12:50 25 August

    Wolves v Newcastle 14 Premier League games - Wolves 2 wins, 16 goals, 0 clean sheets; Newcastle 3 wins, 19 goals and 1 clean sheet
    • Wolves are without a win in their last 10 Premier League matches (D3 L7), the longest ongoing run among the 20 current sides in the competition. Indeed, it’s Wolves’ longest winless league streak since March 2013 in the Championship (run of 12).

    • Newcastle United are unbeaten in their three Premier League games this season (W1 D2), last enjoying a four-match unbeaten start to a league season back in 2011-12 (first 11), going on to finish 5th.

    • Wolves have given two Portuguese players their Premier League debuts this season - Goncalo Guedes and Matheus Nunes – taking the total number of players from Portugal to play for Wolves in the competition to 19, eight more than any other club.

    • Since his first Premier League campaign in 2015-16, only Sergio Aguero (14) and Raheem Sterling (12) have scored more Premier League goals in August than Callum Wilson (11), with the Newcastle forward scoring in two of their three matches so far this season.

  8. Newcastle owners showing intent with £200m outlaypublished at 11:54 25 August

    Alistair Magowan, BBC Sport football reporter

    Newcastle are set to spend about £60m on Real Sociedad striker Alexander Isak, which will excite fans and represent a shift from the club's Saudi owners as they look set to almost double their summer spending on players.

    Previously, their biggest outlay was £35m plus add-ons for Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimaraes in January, which already looks a bargain.

    Sources insisted the club would not be in the market for 'trophy players', preferring to improve the squad carefully over the next few windows.

    However, breaking the club record signals a statement of intent from the owners, who are now on the verge of spending about £200m since they took over last October.

    Callum Wilson's hamstring injury may have sharpened a few minds in the boardroom about a striker needing to be brought in, but it leaves fans eagerly anticipating the rest of the season after that thrilling 3-3 draw with champions Manchester City and dreaming about what the future may hold.

  9. Newcastle secure 'unanimous first choice'published at 09:53 25 August

    Transfer gossip daily podcast image

    "This is a concrete transfer story. It's definitely happening. There are a lot of happy people at Newcastle."

    So says Telegraph journalist Luke Edwards about Alexander Isak, the Real Sociedad striker heavily linked with a move to St James' Park.

    "He has been the unanimous first choice at Newcastle since late spring," Edwards told the Transfer Gossip Daily podcast. "He is a perfect signing for them.

    "They didn't just want a new number nine - they've got a very good one already in Callum Wilson but he's just not available enough.

    "They wanted a player who could deputise for Wilson through the middle when he's injured but also wanted someone who could play with him.

    "Isak has huge upside and was one of the most highly-rated players in Europe this time last year. He's a really exciting player and Newcastle think they have got a real coup."

    More of today's transfer rumour is available over here on BBC Sounds

  10. 'Winning a trophy has to be the ambition'published at 09:28 25 August

    Newcastle players celebrate

    Former Liverpool and Scotland midfielder Charlie Adam believes the Carabao Cup offers a great opportunity for Newcastle to win some silverware this season.

    The Magpies edged past Tranmere in the second round on Wednesday night and, after a promising start to the season, Adam says Eddie Howe should prioritise the competition.

    "It's got to be the ambition for a club like Newcastle," he told BBC Radio 5 Live's Football Daily podcast.

    "Obviously it's very difficult to win as generally the big two have wrapped up the cups over the last few years."

    Newcastle last won a domestic cup in the 1954-55 season but Adam was not surprised to see Howe rotate his squad for last night's game.

    "They were always going to rest players after the efforts they put in against Manchester City on Sunday," he said. "But they've got money to spend and have bought really wisely since January.

    "You see the intent they have and I think they'll be expecting to get into the top 10 this season."

    More analysis on the Carabao Cup games is available from 18'30 on BBC Sounds here

  11. The eye-catching skills of transfer target Alexander Isakpublished at 08:48 25 August

    Alexander IsakImage source, Getty Images

    Newcastle are reportedly chasing Real Sociedad’s talented Sweden striker Alexander Isak.

    The 22-year-old first caught our attention with his performances in Euro 2020, nabbing assists against Poland and Ukraine and passing the eye test with his speed, dribbling ability and desire to shoot on sight.

    He has only netted nine goals for his country but has impressed in Spain, particularly during the 2020-21 campaign when he scored 17 goals in 34 games.

    Nicknamed ‘The Giraffe’ as a youngster, the 6ft 2in striker is not particularly effective with his head, preferring instead to receive into his feet, spin and drive towards goal.

    He starts well at new clubs, becoming the first non-Dutch player to score 12 goals in his first 12 games in the Netherlands during the 2018-19 season.

    Since moving to Real Sociedad, he has evolved his skillset to be both a counter-attacking forward and the first line of defence, capable of pressurising defences into mistakes before having the ruthlessness to capitalise.

    He can play on the shoulder and run in behind defences so Newcastle fans can purr at the idea of Isak latching onto one of Bruno Guimaraes’ visionary passes.

    Along with Erling Haaland, Darwin Nunez and Dusan Vlahovic, Isak is part of the new breed of target men in European football and appears to be a young man ready to make an instant impact.

  12. Howe refuses to discuss potential Isak movepublished at 08:08 25 August

    Alexander IsakImage source, Getty Images

    Eddie Howe is guarding his transfer plans after reports emerged Newcastle had agreed a deal for Sweden forward Alexander Isak.

    Speaking after the Magpies saw off League Two side Tranmere in the Carabao Cup, Howe admitted he expected more arrivals before next Thursday's transfer deadline but would not be drawn on names or how many.

    "It's difficult to put a number on it but at least one," he said. "We were looking at the attacking areas of the pitch and I don't think that is a huge secret.

    "I won't go into any more detail on that."

    Goals from Jamaal Lascelles and Chris Wood overturned Tranmere's advantage at Prenton Park and Howe said he was pleased with the challenge his side faced.

    "It was hard-fought and competitive as they were very good defensively and physically," he said.

    "It was a good examination of our attitude and commitment and the lads passed the test with flying colours."

    Newcastle will host Crystal Palace in the third round with the tie taking place between the 8th and 10th of November.

  13. Transfer news: Magpies make £60m bid for Isakpublished at 07:26 25 August

    Gossip banner

    Newcastle United have made a club record £60m bid to sign Real Sociedad striker Alexander Isak. (Mail), external

    The Magpies could eventually pay in excess of £60m for the Swedish international. (Mirror), external

    Meanwhile, Manchester United have held talks with Newcastle over the signing of goalkeeper Martin Dubravka. (Mail), external

    The clubs are yet to reach an agreement but United have submitted a loan offer for Dubravka. (Athletic - subscription required), external

    Want more transfer news? Read Thursday's full gossip column

  14. 'I'm expecting 11 changes'published at 13:16 24 August

    From the press box graphic

    Matthew Raisbeck, Newcastle United commentator for BBC Radio Newcastle:

    Former Newcastle United defender and our BBC Radio Newcastle match summariser John Anderson has been giving me his expectations for the Magpies' trip to Tranmere Rovers on Wednesday.

    "The cup is an opportunity, but I think doing well in the league will be Eddie Howe's main objective - and they've started the season really well," Anderson tells me.

    "The exertions of Sunday against Manchester City took a lot of out of the players. So, I think he'll make 11 changes for the cup tie.

    "I think the side that he'll put out at Tranmere will be full of squad players who'll get an opportunity to show the manager their capabilities.

    "I would have preferred the tie to be at home. There will be a decent atmosphere, they'll be well up for it - and if you don't have their attitude and work-rate, you'll come unstuck.

    "It's something we've seen many times before."

  15. 'I'm on the plane' - Wilson backs himself for World Cup spotpublished at 12:58 24 August

    Callum WilsonImage source, Getty Images

    Callum Wilson is confident he can play himself into Gareth Southgate's England squad for this year's World Cup.

    Newcastle's number nine has only made four senior England appearances so far, scoring once.

    On which four strikers Southgate should take to Qatar, Wilson told the Footballer's Football podcast: "You’re taking Harry Kane. Behind Harry Kane, you’re taking myself, Tammy Abraham is also doing well. You’ve got Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings, who are also doing well.

    "I’m on the plane, Harry Kane’s on the plane. There’s going to be players travelling to the World Cup that don’t make the September squad. There’s always one or two players who come from nowhere.

    "For me, you’re going Kane, myself, Tammy Abraham, who’s a different kind of striker, and then you’re probably taking Danny Ings. That would probably be my four, form dependant.

    "I’m trying to do my talking on the pitch. I always say, I don’t want to talk my way into a squad. I want the football to do the talking for me." 

    Listen to the Footballer's Football podcast on BBC Sounds

  16. 'Lascelles has been a brilliant captain and leader' - Howepublished at 12:21 24 August

    Jamaal LascellesImage source, Getty Images

    Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe says that club captain Jamaal Lascelles has been a "brilliant captain and leader" despite losing his place in the side.

    The 28-year-old, who joined the Magpies in 2014, was displaced by new signing Dan Burn in January and is yet to appear this season.

    Howe told BBC Radio Newcastle: "He has reacted very well and I think he has had a very good pre-season. He is unlucky not to play as there is big competition now with Sven [Botman] coming in and the form of Dan [Burn] and Fabian [Schar].

    "But Jamaal was part of that as well whenever he came in and performed really well at a high level. We are going to need that strength and depth as the season goes on.

    "Behind the scenes he has been a brilliant captain and leader for the group and he has set the example everyday of how to prepare and support his team-mates, so I think he is in a very good place."

    Listen to the full interview on BBC Sounds

  17. Who makes Magpies XI?published at 11:02 24 August

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  18. Everton join race to sign Magpies target Pedropublished at 13:26 23 August

    Joao Pedro in action against NewcastleImage source, Getty Images

    Phil McNulty, BBC chief football writer

    Everton have made an enquiry to Watford about £30m-rated Newcastle target Joao Pedro - though the Magpies remain favourites to sign the forward.

    Newcastle boss Eddie Howe is an admirer of the 20-year-old Brazilian, and while the St James' Park club's initial bid was rejected by Watford, negotiations are continuing.

    The Toffees have now shown interest, but it remains to be seen whether the Merseysiders are prepared to match any offer.

  19. 'We saw where the barometer lies... the gap is closing'published at 12:56 23 August

    Newcastle Tuesday talking point banner

    Matty Renton, The Magpie Channel TV, external

    Eddie Howe stated in his Manchester City pre-match news conference that this game was the ultimate test to determine the levels between how far Newcastle have come and how far they have to go to compete with the likes of Pep Guardiola's side.

    The end result: Newcastle United players and fans leaving St James’ Park at the full-time whistle feeling hard done by and disappointed to not get all three points after scoring three goals against the champions.

    However, it is vitally important we grasp the evolution of Newcastle both on and off the pitch since Howe took charge. I’ve been a Newcastle supporter for nearly 30 years and that performance was one of the best I’ve ever seen, against one of the best sides the world has ever seen.

    Character, application, intensity, desire and passion. Just a few words I could use to sum up the home side. The resilience to not give up after going 1-0 down inside five minutes or change the gameplan was admirable and brave.

    Pep was full of praise for Eddie at full-time and rightly so. The Magpies have only lost twice in the 16 home games under Howe - those defeats coming against City and Liverpool.

    That shows where the barometer lies. The gap is closing and Newcastle can go toe to toe with the big boys.

    A couple of signings before the transfer window closes and no team will fancy their chances coming up against Eddie Howe's black-and-white army.