Newcastle have four ‘elite’ summer signings planned.

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe - Newcastle ditch conservative budget and plan four summer signings

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe – Newcastle ditch conservative budget and plan four ‘elite’ summer signings – Getty Images/Stu Forster

Newcastle United’s excellent season under Eddie Howe has helped convince the club’s owners to be more aggressive in their summer recruitment strategy, having initially planned to operate on a modest budget of just £20m, supplemented by player sales .

Telegraph Sport can reveal that early transfer meetings had underscored the need for belt-tightening at St James’ Park due to financial fair play rules. Newcastle have spent around £250m on players in just three transfer windows under Saudi Arabian owners, with only one player leaving – Chris Wood to Nottingham Forest – for a fee of around £12m pounds.

This was met with some dismay behind the scenes, but director of football Dan Ashworth and Howe successfully argued that now is the time to be bold rather than stick to a tight budget due to the rapid progress they have made in recent years. 18 months.

Sources inside and outside the club said there had been a clear shift in strategy with Newcastle now willing to front-load their expenses, expecting income streams to increase with European football and a host of new sponsors, as well as future player sales, to ensure they don’t break FFP rules.

It is likely to mean an exciting summer at Tyneside with the club aiming for at least four ‘elite players’ who will be able to immediately challenge for a place in the first team. Instead of sticking to a specific budget, players will be evaluated and offers made on a case-by-case basis.

The ideal scenario is that there is an equal mix of players from overseas and those with a proven Premier League pedigree. Last summer, Newcastle signed Sven Botman from Lille and Alexander Isak from Real Sociedad, along with Nick Pope from Burnley and Matt Targett from Aston Villa.

With new sponsorship deals still being worked out – a new shirt sponsor is expected to be unveiled before the start of next season – Newcastle will also have their revenues significantly boosted from European football next season.

The club are currently fourth in the table and play fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur at St James’ Park on Sunday. Should Howe pull off the soccer miracle in the Champions League – Newcastle were fighting a relegation battle this time last year – the club is likely to be one of the biggest spenders in Europe.

Leicester - Newcastle's James Maddison ditches cautious budget and plans four summer signings

Leicester’s James Maddison – Newcastle ditches cautious budget and plans four ‘elite’ summer signings – Offside / Simon Stacpoole

Even without Champions League football, Newcastle will be ambitious in their recruitment campaign with players like James Maddison, Moises Caicedo, Conor Gallagher, Ivan Toney, Kaoru Mitoma, Kavlin Phillips, Jarrod Bowen and Declan Rice in the discussion, along with artists from the likes of Scott McTominay, Harvey Barnes and Kieran Tierney.

There are also several players currently playing abroad who are attracting strong interest, with Borussia Monchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram, Celta Vigo’s Gabri Veiga, Bayer Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby and Napoli duo Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia all being admired.

It was pointed out to Telegraph Sport that no final decisions on goals have been made, with the club still working on a long list at this stage. Indeed, sources have been actively downplaying their chance of signing Rice from West Ham following last week’s excited online rumors that they were favorites for England.

But the caliber of players being studied is much higher than it was 12 months ago, proving that the Newcastle squad is already stronger and have shown they can compete for European positions.

Howe is said to be aware that he doesn’t simply want to add depth to the squad in the run-up to a return to European football, but rather raise standards across the board.

A right-wing centre-back, left-back, two midfielders and a forward are among the positions chief scout Steve Nickson has been called upon to draw up shortlists for before the end of this season.

In turn, Newcastle will need to offload players going forward to help balance the score, but it is clear that none of their star men, such as midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, Botman and Isak, will be sold this year.

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