Newcastle United making early transfer moves as goalkeepers eyed and budget 'truth' revealed

The start of the summer transfer window remains weeks away but Newcastle United are wasting no time seeking out potential new recruits for next season.

Only on Sunday did Eddie Howe admit he had been planning for the upcoming window since 'January or February' - which comes as no surprise given Newcastle's financial restrictions during the recent winter market.

Those profit and sustainability concerns go a long way to explaining why Newcastle are going all out this time around to sign not one, but two, exciting free agents this summer. Tosin Adarabioyo and Lloyd Kelly are destined to leave Fulham and Bournemouth respectively next month, with Howe ideally pushing for both defensive assets in what would represent a shrewd double coup.

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The Magpies are also on the hunt for a new goalkeeper to compete with Nick Pope next season. Martin Dubravka, who has been left out of the trip to Australia, is facing an uncertain future on Tyneside, while Loris Karius will leave on a free when his deal expires in the coming weeks.

As such, Pope and veteran stopper Mark Gillespie may be the only senior stoppers in Howe's ranks come pre-season. Like the search for new defensive recruits, Newcastle have wasted no time drawing up a list of possible candidates in between the sticks.

Valencia goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili has been a long-term target for the St James' Park transfer team, with interest dating back to early 2023. The Georgian goalkeeper enjoyed another fine season in La Liga and, therefore, won't come cheap.

Last week brought yet more speculation that Aaron Ramsdale was heading from north London to the north east but the player himself quickly dispelled rumours a deal had been agreed already this summer. Howe worked with the Arsenal stopper at Bournemouth and with Ramsdale losing his place to David Raya this season, a summer exit may make sense.

Another target in the goalkeeping department in Burnley youngster James Trafford. The 21-year-old lost his place to Arijanet Muric at the back end of the campaign as Vincent Kompany's side were relegated.

Trafford, however, is a highly-rated prospect who has performed consistently well for England's youth sides. With Pope approaching the business end of his career, the youngster may be seen as the ideal candidate to arrive as his backup.

With Newcastle arguably needing reinforcements added in a number of positions, it promises to be a busy, and potentially expensive, summer. But just how much do the north east outfit have to spend?

According to Howe, it is hard to pinpoint exactly how big of a war chest is available given the ongoing concern over spending regulations.

“I don’t think it quite works like that these days,” the Newcastle boss said over the weekend when asked about his budget. “The whole way of trading players has changed. The days of that working, where you have a strict budget and have to stick to it, has changed, I think.

“It’s a case of being smart and reacting to what happens, and trying to bring the right players with the right characteristics into the squad. That support and determination is there from the owners, but the rules mean there are restrictions placed upon us.”