Eddie Howe reluctant to sell star player ahead of Saudi Pro League deadline

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe has dismissed suggestions that he could allow club captain Jamal Lascelles to leave before the end of the Saudi Arabian transfer window.

Lascelles, who has less than 12 months left on his contract at St James’ Park, was linked with a move to the Saudi Pro League in recent days, but sources have told 90min that Newcastle never undertook talks over his sale. The Saudi window closes on Thursday.

Jamaal Lascelles is staying at Newcastle

The 29-year-old was one of a number of players that Howe would have allowed to leave the club this summer but only if they signed a replacement. Although two full-backs arrived in the shape of Tino Livramento and Lewis Hall, Newcastle did not sign another centre-half.

Howe has now made it clear that the club can’t afford to lose Lascelles. That assertion has been backed up in the opening weeks of the season which has seen first-choice centre-backs Sven Botman and Fabian Schar pick up injuries.

Botman has suffered an ankle injury, which ruled him out of their loss at Brighton, while Schar suffered a muscle problem. Dan Burn has come in to replace Botman and Lascelles is likely next in line to come in for Schar.

When asked about whether he could lose Lascelles or any other player this week ahead of the Saudi Pro League transfer deadline on Thursday, Howe said: “That is not something I’ve really considered.

“Our squad is settled and I expect our squad to stay together because certainly we couldn’t afford to lose anybody.”

Howe also admitted that he did not know when Botman would be available again.

Read Also  ‘It’s done’: Player is about to join Everton for sure – Fabrizio Romano

“This is an unknown to be honest,” Howe said of Botman’s return date following the Brighton loss. “There was hope he might be fit for this game but then he didn’t feel too good yesterday, so he was ruled out. We will see how quickly he improves.”