Newcastle transfer news: 'Directive from Saudi Arabia is costing Magpies'

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Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie believes Newcastle United’s drawn-out pursuit for a director of football is a ‘directive from Saudi Arabia’ as the new owners look to employ the right person for the job.

Since the Magpies’ takeover was completed back in October, a whole host of names have been linked with heading up the club’s recruitment team.

What is the current DoF situation at Newcastle?

The likes of Marc Overmars, Paul Mitchell and Luis Campos are among the well-respected figures who are believed to have been considered for the highly desired role.

However, with the January window just a matter of days away, Newcastle are still without a director of football to shape their transfer business over the winter.

Co-owner Amanda Staveley has hired Nicky Hammond, the former Reading director of football, on a temporary basis to help with acquisitions next month, but a more permanent solution is certainly needed.

It was recently reported that the St. James’ Park outfit have been granted permission by Premier League rivals Brighton and Hove Albion to speak to Dan Ashworth over the vacancy in the North East.



The 50-year-old is well-regarded within the game having previously held the position of the Football Association’s technical director and was credited with much of the national team’s success at youth level and in the women’s game.

Nevertheless, it’s believed Brighton are hopeful of retaining Ashworth’s services, an outcome that would add to Newcastle’s growing frustrations.

Downie claims that Newcastle’s relaxed and measured approach to the recruitment process has come from the club’s new owners, though, perhaps providing some comfort to the fanbase.

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What has Downie said on the DoF search?

The Sky Sports reporter understands the frustrations coming from the supporters but reiterated that this is part of the hierarchy’s thinking.

Downie told GiveMeSport: “This director of football search has gone on a while as well, and the Newcastle United fans look at it and say, ‘Why is it taking so long because this is costing us, this is a crucial time.'

“And of course it is, but this is just the way they're deciding to do things, and I think that is the directive from Saudi Arabia. So, that is where we're at with this.”

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Do Newcastle need a DoF?

The majority of elite sides operate with a director of football at the helm in the modern era, allowing the manager to concentrate solely on the training ground and implementing their tactics on a matchday.

With Newcastle currently locked in a relegation battle, securing some astute purchases in the January window could be crucial in their fight to maintain their top-flight status.

As a result, the lengthy search has understandably become a cause for concern among the Magpies fans, and they’ll be desperate for a quick solution.

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