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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - NEWCASTLE: Eddie Howe says Newcastle United will walk away from transfers this window if they feel clubs are trying to take them for a ride.
So far, the winter window has been littered with unrealistic demands and quotes presented to the Magpies from selling clubs, none more so than the situation with Lille over defensive target Sven Botman.
Numerous bids, seemingly meeting pre-organized demands, have been lodged with the French champions for their Netherlands international defender — and yet the asking price continues to rise.
From drawing the line at $47 million to now asking an inflated $75 million for the player, the goalposts are ever-changing.
And Howe has warned others that United are prepared to do their bidding elsewhere if clubs think they can take advantage of Public Investment Fund-owned Newcastle.
Howe said: “In this window, prices are driven up to a very uncomfortable window for everyone.
“Everyone is well aware we are in the market for certain positions, and that drives the prices up. There is nothing we can do about that. That’s the market we are in.”
When asked whether the Magpies would walk away from deals, Howe said: “Absolutely. You have to draw a line in certain situations.
“Otherwise, where does the game go? It gets to really uncomfortable levels.
“It is all about judging each situation on individual merits, and that’s what we’ve tried to do.”
The Magpies take on Watford at St. James’ Park this afternoon, looking to win only their second game of the Premier League season.
A victory on Tyneside would see them climb, temporarily, out of the drop zone for the first time in months. It would, however, be a stay of execution, with Watford taking on Burnley in midweek, a game that, no matter which way it goes, will see the Magpies drop back down into the bottom three.
“Short term, we are focused on winning games,” said Howe ahead of the encounter.
“Later on in the season, we will be able to look at those things. At the moment, it is impossible to tell,” he said. “Now it is just about getting the process right and winning games.”
Meanwhile on the injury front, Newcastle United could welcome back Paul Dummett to the starting XI today, with the popular Geordie defender stepping up his bid to return. Dummett has not featured for United since pre-season in July.
The game is expected to come too soon for fellow left-back, Jamal Lewis.
“We have got a couple of COVID-19 cases in the camp; fingers crossed we have no more,” said Howe.
“We have got Lewis edging closer to a return, the same for Dummett,” he added. “And we have a few knocks and niggles but nothing too serious.”
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