‘Pretty bulky!’: Eddie Howe admits the price tag for Argentina World Cup star Enzo Fernandez will be sky high after Alan Shearer joked Newcastle should sign him… before suggesting signing players on the back of good tournaments can be dangerous seen in isolation
Eddie Howe says Newcastle would not use the World Cup in isolation as a means of recruitment – and admits the asking price for young player of the tournament Enzo Fernandez will now be “quite bulky”.
Club legend Alan Shearer joked after Sunday’s final, in which Fernandez and Argentina won on penalties, that the midfielder would look good in black and white against Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.
The 21-year-old has been linked with Liverpool in recent weeks, with reports from Portugal suggesting that Benfica have set a £100million bid.
Argentina star Enzo Fernandez was named the young player of the tournament in Qatar
Eddie Howe insisted the £100m price tag for the Benfica star would now be “pretty hefty”
Newcastle are looking for a holding midfielder – and Fernandez fits the bill – but Howe said: ‘I’m aware of him and I know him. But I think the transfer fee can be quite hefty.
Of Shearer’s comments, the head coach added: ‘I didn’t hear that, I apologize to Alan, I think I was on the other channel! It’s a mistake on my part.
Howe held a transition meeting with the club’s owners and sporting director Dan Ashworth during their recent mid-season break in Saudi Arabia. Although the Magpies are not expected to be as active as the previous two windows, where spending topped £200m, Howe is still pushing to strengthen his side.
However, he insists that signing players on the back of a good World Cup alone can be a dangerous pursuit.
Shearer had joked on the BBC that Newcastle should make a move for the Argentine star
Howe also suggested that signing players solely on the basis of their World Cup performances could be dangerous
“From a recruiting perspective, I don’t think you ever just analyze the World Cup and sign a player on the back of those performances,” he said. – There is a lot of work that goes into signing these players, and it is never just four weeks away.
– That is not to say that we will not use the World Cup as a recruitment tool and look at players. But only on those games we wouldn’t do it.’
Meanwhile, Howe has given an update on the form of strikers Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak.
“We’re still in the same situation with Alex,” he said, as the £60m frontman recovered from a thigh injury. “We are assessing him day by day and want to make sure that when he comes back, he comes back in the best possible condition. With Callum, I’ve never said there’s a problem with him. So yeah, he’s fine.