Newcastle to test Arsenal’s resolve with cut-price January offer as Eddie Howe begins plan

Amanda Staveley speaks to the media after confirmed Newcastle takeover

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Newcastle will be under no illusions that changes need to be made in the coming months with relegation a very real threat. Eddie Howe has now taken the helm and it appears as though a swoop on Arsenal could be one of his first ports of call when the January transfer window opens.

Howe has been given some time to take a look at his new team during the international break and will take to the dugout for his first game in charge this weekend against Brentford.

There is an immediate need for change with Newcastle the only Premier League side not to win a match after 11 games.

Games against Brentford, Norwich and Burnley in the coming weeks will be seen as must-win scenarios given their current position.

They’re already five points adrift of Watford in 17th and hold the second-worst defensive record in the league, conceding more than two goals a game on average.

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Defensive recruits may well be top of Howe’s wishlist when the January transfer window comes around.

But there is also a need to bring in more firepower up top to help the likes of Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin.

Howe may well look to change things up at Newcastle, judging on his time in charge of Bournemouth.

The 43-year-old often chose to go with two central strikers, flanked by two wingers capable of providing service into the box.

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Saint-Maximin will fit that role perfectly out wide as he’s been one of Newcastle’s only bright sparks this season.

But the likes of Ryan Fraser and Miguel Almiron have struggled to make an impact while Jacob Murphy has largely been overlooked in recent weeks.

The January market may present Howe with the perfect opportunity to bring in another winger and Nicolas Pepe is reportedly on their list.

According to Jeunesfooteux, Newcastle are one of three Premier League clubs showing interest in signing Pepe.

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The Ivory Coast international has fallen down the pecking order at Arsenal this season following the strong form of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe.

Pepe remains Arsenal’s record signing in a deal worth in the region of £73million, but they’d be unlikely to get anywhere near that figure now.

Newcastle though don’t have any interest in offering a permanent switch for Pepe.

It is claimed the Magpies want to sign Pepe on loan until the end of the season, although both Everton and Crystal Palace have also expressed interest.

Newcastle still have several weeks to finalise their January transfer plan, but Howe will be under immediate pressure to turn things around to put them in the best position possible to attract new players.

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