Newcastle United taking double transfer risk after Dan Ashworth's £100m vision

Newcastle United's outgoing sporting director Dan Ashworth once said he hoped the Magpies would never have to spend £100m on single player. Instead, the St James' Park chief had grand visions of recruiting exciting youth talent and nurturing them into potential £100m superstars over a number of years.

It certainly remains to be seen whether the likes of Garang Kuol, Alex Murphy, Alfie Harrison, Trevan Sanusi or Travis Hernes will ever reach those incredibly high levels but 19-year-old Yankuba Minteh certainly looks the most likely superstar-in-waiting to have been put on Newcastle's books by Ashworth.

A successful loan spell at Feyenoord last season has caused tongues to wag over his eventual return to Tyneside. Now, however, it looks as though the teenage winger will depart Newcastle without ever kicking a ball in black and white. Minteh's agent Bakary Bojang told Chronicle Live on Saturday that his client had agreed terms elsewhere, saying: "I can't confirm clubs who are in communication with us. We have agreed terms with one of the clubs. So now the rest is with Newcastle."

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Everyone understands why Newcastle are choosing to do this potentially unpopular deal. Profit and sustainability rules mean Eddie Howe's side must attempt to balance the books before the turn of the accounting year at the end of June. Minteh is seen as a huge financial asset and there is massive profit to be made after signing the youngster for only £6.5m just 12 months ago.

There was hope inside St James' Park that the sale of Miguel Almiron would have both helped bolster their summer transfer kitty, while also easing financial concerns but the Paraguayan didn't want to leave back in January and while interest from the Middle East remains, the Saudi Pro League transfer window doesn't open until July 17th - over two weeks after the June 30 PSR 'deadline'.

Minteh's unpredictability in the final third and lightning-quick pace means he has gained a wealth of supporters across Europe in recent months. The Gambian has the world at his feet - and Newcastle, due to controversial and frustrating financial rules, are being forced to take a major risk in selling him at this stage of his career.

Everton are one of half a dozen teams interested in Minteh as they conduct their own financial footwork before the end of the month. With outgoings subsequently expected at Goodison Park, Dominic Calvert-Lewin is poised to depart in the coming days.

The 27-year-old has been a Newcastle transfer target for a number of windows, with Eddie Howe incredibly fond of the Toffees hitman. Calvert-Lewin is entering the final year of his Everton deal and the Merseyside outfit side are confident of attracting a substantial fee for his services.

Should the former England forward be unveiled at St James' Park, opinion will undoubtedly be split among the Magpies' faithful. Some will, unsurprisingly, hold concerns over a worrying injury record that rivals the player he will likely replace - Callum Wilson. Others will point to the fact Howe has the ability to turn good players into great players and Calvert-Lewin has enjoyed stellar streaks in front of goal in the past.

In defence of the former Sheffield United forward, he did enjoy a relatively injury-free campaign last term, missing just six games in total for Sean Dyche's Everton. Prior to the 2023/24 campaign, however, Calvert-Lewin has been sidelined with multiple hamstring problems, knee issues and general fitness concerns. Since 2020 he has missed a total of 75 matches for club and country.

With Wilson another Newcastle star attracting interest, there is a question around whether Calvert-Lewin would be an upgrade on the club's current No 9 as they look for backup to Alexander Isak. Wilson suffered his own fair share of injury problems last season but still hit 10 goals in 26 games for Howe's side. For Everton, Calvert-Lewin netted eight times in 38 games despite his clean bill of health for the bulk of the campaign.

A busy week is expected inside the boardrooms of St James' Park as Howe's squad for next season begins to take shape. As it stands, the young, exciting prospect in Minteh is out and Calvert-Lewin, who brings with him multiple concerns regarding fitness and fire rate, is in. A double risk for Newcastle early in the summer - brought about by Premier League financial rules that could soon be scrapped.