Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe has claimed that his club will strongly oppose a potential new transfer rule. Earlier in the week, The Athletic reported that Premier League teams will vote on banning associated clubs from making loan deals together. The possible transfer block would directly affect the Magpies.

Newcastle’s owners, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), also currently own the four top clubs in the Middle Eastern nation. There have been suggestions that the Magpies could easily bring in players on loan from the Saudi Pro League teams. One of these players, Ruben Neves, earned heavy links with Newcastle in recent weeks. Fellow midfielder Sandro Tonali picked up a suspension for betting on matches.

Howe was directly asked about the potential transfer ban during a press conference on Friday. While the coach would not delve deeply into the matter, he did admit that Newcastle would fight the proposal. “You can make that assumption,” Howe replied when asked about the club’s objection to the possible rule change.

Howe speaks highly of Neves in press conference

However, the Magpies manager also specifically addressed a move for Neves. The highly-rated Portuguese midfielder recently swapped Premier League club Wolves for Saudi side Al-Hilal. The team, owned by PIF, shelled out nearly $60 million to grab Neves.

“He’s a player we liked when he was at Wolves,” Howe said of Neves. The coach then even dismissed notions that the Portugal international would not be a great fit at Newcastle. “I believe that players can adapt to different styles. I’ve got no doubt about that.”

“We will work within whatever rules the Premier League set and we have to respect those rules,” continued the Magpies manager. “We just have to react to the changes. But I will leave you to decide why those rules are coming in.”

Official vote on potential new transfer law needs a two-thirds majority to pass

Howe is clearly ready to bring in a direct replacement for Tonali in January. The Italy international was a key player in the current squad. Tonali’s arrival in the northeast of England even came as a bit of a shock. After all, he was a regular starter at AC Milan and helped the club collect the Serie A title in 2022. Tonali also featured in the Italian top flight’s Team of the Season for the 2022/23 campaign.

Nevertheless, Howe may have to turn his attention away from Neves. According to the report, Premier League clubs vote on the potential transfer ban on Nov. 21. The proposal, however, is just temporary and would only block moves between associated clubs in January. Further meetings will determine how to handle the matter in the future.

The measure would need a two-thirds majority to go into effect. This means that 14 of the 20 English top-flight teams would have to agree on the temporary transfer ban. Many see the fast-track proposal as a specific rule against Newcastle. However, the rule change also affects other multi-club ownership teams, such as Chelsea and Manchester City.