The likes of Kieran Trippier, Callum Wilson, Joelinton and Miguel Almiron have all been tipped for transfers as the Magpies look to raise funds to help comply with Financial Fair Play rules.
Howe does not want to lose any of those men, who have all been key parts of his plans this season, but he does admit that Joelinton could be moving on this summer unless his contract situation changes.
‘Eighteen months [left on a contract] is a vulnerable time for a club,’ Howe said of the Brazilian.
‘The club will need to tie Joe down to a longer-term contract or there is a possibility he will be sold in the summer. That is just the reality of the situation.
‘As his manager, I’m determined for him to stay. I love him as a person and a player, so that would be my wish, for him to sign a long-term contract.
‘But of course there’s more to it than that. There’s Joe’s wishes and what he wants. Before he signs a contract he has to be entirely happy with everything. We’re not at that stage yet.’
Trippier has been the subject of a bid from Bayern Munich, but the German giants have since stepped away from a move for him and Howe says the captain is as committed as ever to the cause.
‘There are a few things to say on Kieran’s situation,’ said the boss. ‘We obviously hope he’ll stay – I’m very confident he will – and be part of our long-term future, but I have to make it clear that he’s never asked to leave or even questioned his future here.
‘He’s always been fully committed and we’ve had a lot of conversations in the last week, which have been about Newcastle. I think it’s very important I made that clear and got it out there to everybody that his commitment to Newcastle shouldn’t be questioned.
‘I don’t think it’s been a difficult week. It’s a huge compliment that a club like Bayern are interested in him and it’s no surprise to me because he’s an outstanding player.
‘I want to keep our best players; I want to keep every player in a squad that is very thin on the ground at the moment. Contemplating losing a player at this stage would be very difficult for me personally, but especially our best players – and Kieran is certainly one of those.’
Almiron has been touted for a switch to Saudi Arabia, with Al-Shabab interested in the Paraguayan, but Howe says he is ‘desperate’ to keep hold of him.
‘There’s been a lot of noise and a lot of speculation about his future, but certainly as his manager, I’m desperate to keep him,’ said the Englishman.
‘He’s been an integral part since I’ve been at the club, in the sense that his contribution has been immense, whether that’s goalscoring, work-rate, discipline, commitment and professionalism.
‘There has been a lot of noise and that noise comes from somewhere, but hopefully we can keep him and the window shuts quickly.’
Callum Wilson has been spoken of as a target for the likes of Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and Arsenal, with Howe saying: ‘That’s been a strange one because, again, there’s been a lot of speculation regarding Callum and I’ve seen some of it. Probably not all of it, but I think a lot of it has been unfounded.
‘From our side, Callum is a huge part of what we’re doing.
‘We’re desperate to get our two strikers fit at the same time, which we haven’t had for a long time now and that’s hurt us in lots of different ways.
‘He’s nearing fitness, nearing a return and he’s looked good. He’s not trained with us yet, but he’s getting there and there’s no part of me that wants to lose Callum.
‘But some things are out of my control and, of course, the club is acting within its long-term interests and it has to. I understand that and I’m fully supportive of it.’
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