Eddie Howe has insisted the decision not to introduce a ban which could have prevented Newcastle from loaning players from Saudi clubs is no great advantage to them.
Premier League clubs this week voted against a move to stop members drafting in players on temporary deals from associated clubs – those who share owners – which had been interpreted as a bid to thwart the Magpies, who had been linked with a January move for Al-Hilal’s Ruben Neves.
Newcastle are 80 per cent owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which also has controlling stakes in four Saudi Pro League clubs including Neves’ employers, and the decision means in theory that they could sign loan deals to bolster their squad in the midst of an injury crisis.
Howe said: “I found it a bit strange that the focus has been solely on us. Every club has a right to vote how they want to vote and it hasn’t gone through so it’s not just about us.
“It was a Premier League vote – we’re not the only club involved in that vote. I think the majority of clubs in the Premier League own other clubs around the world, so it’s not solely on us, I don’t think.
“Newcastle as a club had a view. We voted our way in the way we’re allowed to and the vote came out on the side that it did.
“Just from my dealings with it, we’re very relaxed on it. It’s not the be-all and end-all for us.”
Howe’s squad has been ravaged by injuries and suspension in recent weeks but midfielder Bruno Guimaraes is available for Saturday’s home clash with Chelsea after serving a one-match ban, as is Kieran Trippier after leaving the England squad for personal reasons.
Striker Alexander Isak is close to a return from a groin injury, but Howe is still without the likes of Dan Burn, Sven Botman, Sean Longstaff, Sandro Tonali, Jacob Murphy, Harvey Barnes and Callum Wilson.
Asked if he would consider signing a player from a Saudi club in January, Howe said: “It’s not even in our thoughts at this moment in time.
“It would only be a reaction to the injuries that we have and whether we need to recruit because the majority of our players would be back in January. At this moment in time, we don’t know.”
Howe put the final touches to his preparations for the Chelsea game having watched back his side’s 2-0 defeat at former club Bournemouth on their last outing no fewer than five times in a bid to address what went wrong.
He did so with £55million summer signing Tonali, who is serving a 10-month ban for breaching betting rules, showing just how much of a miss he will be on the training pitch.
Howe said: “You wouldn’t know from our training sessions that he’s unavailable to play and it’s probably been the best we have seen him in training. I’d love to see him when he comes back into the team because I think he will be a huge player for us.”