Eddie Howe will stand in as sporting director at Newcastle and he is already masterminding their summer transfer business, with Dan Ashworth not due to come off gardening leave until November following Brighton exit
- Newcastle still hopeful that Dan Ashworth will be released from gardening leave before November, but boss Eddie Howe will again take on that role in meantime
- Ashworth is being held to his contract by Brighton, delaying his start at Toon
- Howe has already held meetings about Newcastle’s summer transfer targets
Eddie Howe says Newcastle United need a sporting director as a ‘matter of urgency’, but he is prepared to help fill the void amid delays to Dan Ashworth’s arrival.
As reported by Sportsmail this week, Ashworth could be made to wait until November before taking up the post, with Newcastle so far unable to negotiate the terms of his release from a period of gardening leave at Brighton.
It was Howe who acted as a de facto director of football during January, working alongside co-owner Amanda Staveley and recruitment chief Steve Nickson.
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe is taking on role of sporting director before Dan Ashworth’s arrival
Newcastle may not be able to appoint Dan Ashworth as sporting director until November
A series of meetings have taken place this week to establish summer targets and Newcastle are working on the assumption that Ashworth will not be at the club until after the transfer window.
Howe sounded relaxed on the prospect of again overseeing transfer business, but he also recognises the need to restructure a club that has been badly missing executive presence for several years.
‘Whatever the situation is, I can adapt and overcome,’ he said. ‘When I first came in, I said that appointing a sporting director is a matter of urgency for the club, because we need those structures that help the club improve.
‘We have a lot of improving to do behind the scenes to get to be the club that we want to be. That’s in all areas. We want to build the club and, to do that, you need the right people and the right appointments to happen.
Howe (L) and Amanda Staveley (R) proved capable of managing transfer business in January
‘In the meantime, I’m more than capable of doing certain things. The outcome of the January transfer window has been very successful. I enjoyed the process of how we got to that outcome. Everyone did a really good job. I’m more than happy to do that again.’
Meanwhile, top goalscorer Callum Wilson could miss the remainder of the season. He injured his Achilles and calf in December and, while there has been no definite setback in his recovery, Newcastle could choose not to risk the striker should they be safe come May.
However, defender Kieran Trippier is set to return in the coming weeks after breaking his foot in February.
Callum Wilson may not be risked in final games of the season even if fit, should Toon be safe