"An attractive proposition" - Newcastle's guaranteed transfer sell and Trippier sacrifice pondered

Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe believes the Magpies will be an "attractive proposition" for potential new signings - regardless of whether they qualify for Europe or not this season.

With three games remaining, Howe's side sit in the top six and can achieve Europa League or Europa Conference League status in the 2024/25 season. But despite United sitting in third place in the form table, they will not be able to clinch a European spot in front of their own fans at St James' Park against Brighton & Hove Albion.

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When asked if having the European carrot to dangle will help his summer transfer hopes, Howe told Chronicle Live: "I don't think it does any harm. I don't know if it is the deciding factor for players.

"That is unclear to me. I think it is down to the individual player to make that assessment or decision. But it certainly helps, but I think think this club is really ambitious and it's in a good place. So I'd like to think with what we can offer for players we are an attractive proposition anyway."

Newcastle's season, if anything, has been a salvage job for Howe and his backroom team after slipping out of the top four. A rotten December and some indifferent results after Christmas had the Magpies slumped in 10th spot just two months ago. But big and important wins over West Ham, Tottenham Hotspur, Sheff United and Burnley have put them right back in the hunt.

Howe said: "We are competing for something; we are in the mix. We have three games in a massive week for us, it will go down to the wire. We back ourselves, we are in a good place.

"A few weeks or months ago we would have taken this position. Because it did not look like we were going to get the consistency that we needed to do it. But I really give credit to the players because they have found that consistency towards the back end of the season. We back ourselves when we are in our best place."

Howe's hopes of beating Brighton and potentially putting one foot into Europe next season have been raised with Joelinton, Nick Pope and Miguel Almiron all back from injury. The next player to return is likely to be Kieran Trippier.

When asked if would bench Tino Livramento or Lewis Hall to accommodate Trippier's return, Howe said: "When you are in my shoes you have to get all the information in and see where Kieran is at with his injury and his fitness. Then you have to try to pick the best team."