Newcastle to make tough exit calls that will 'hurt people' as club face 'monster' FFP dilemma

Eddie Howe has vowed not to shirk 'tough' decisions that will 'hurt people' this summer because those calls will be made for the benefit of Newcastle United.

Howe has a 'clear vision' of what he wants to do and the Newcastle boss admitted there will 'have to be movement out' in the coming months. Not only to literally make space in the squad for new signings but, also, to create headroom so that Newcastle can strengthen while still complying with financial rules.

Although Howe does not want to disrupt a tight-knit dressing room, and the spirit and togetherness at the heart of the club's transformation from relegation candidates to European contenders in recent years, the 46-year-old is prepared to be ruthless in order to take the club forward.

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"It has to be part of your role as a manager," he told reporters. "You have to make decisions for the football club - not for the individuals.

"Every decision I try to make is for the benefit of the club and, of course, there are some tough decisions in that. There are some decisions you make where you know you're going to hurt people or upset people or people might question those decisions, but it's always important in my heart and my soul that I feel it's the right thing for the club."

Howe reiterated that Newcastle 'don't want to sell our best players' and the Magpies boss is planning for next season with both Bruno Guimaraes and Alexander Isak in his side. However, there are question marks, externally, surrounding a number of players in the squad.

Matt Ritchie, Paul Dummett and Loris Karius are entering the final months of their contracts while there has been speculation about the long-term futures of Matt Targett, Miguel Almiron and Callum Wilson in recent months. Could the final home game of the season against Brighton prove a St James' Park goodbye for some on Saturday?

"I don't know," Howe said. "I've not thought about that. With football, you never know. I can't rule that out and say absolutely not because, in some respects, I'm not in control of everything so possibly, but I wouldn't make a big deal of that. I'm not saying that's a certainty."

That response should not necessarily come as a huge surprise. There are still three huge games still to play this season, after all, and this is a difficult window to predict given the delicate balancing act Newcastle have this summer.

Take Wilson's situation, for example. Wilson is approaching the final year of his contract but in a window where Newcastle will have to be smart to strengthen multiple positions, it would cost the club a considerable sum to also replace the number nine.

For all Wilson's injury issues - the England international has played in little more than half of Newcastle's games this season - the fact remains that only Alan Shearer has scored more goals for the Magpies in the Premier League era. That is one of the reasons why Howe will do 'everything' he can to keep hold of his 'monster'.

"There's always a different viewpoint," he added. "I will have my viewpoint as the manager in trying to win football matches and the club have to be sustainable and comply with the rules and Financial Fair Play so we work together as a team on that.

"There's no part of me that would ever go against the club and I don't think there's any part of the club that would willingly go against me if they didn't think it was the right thing for the long-term future of the club so we're very much a team. I've got to say that the relationships and the dynamics of that have worked really well since I've been here and we're always trying to push the team forward in any way that we can but, obviously, wanting to stay within the rules."