UEFA rule change could give Newcastle United January transfer boost as £49m Champions League duo considered

Newcastle United are considering signing two Champions League players in January, according to Eddie Howe. Newcastle United are hoping to advance to the last 16 of the Champions League this week as manager Eddie Howe attempts to bolster his squad during the January transfer window.

The Magpies manager has stated that he will review his team before the transfer market opens next month, despite the fact that several players have yet to return from injury. Newcastle hosts AC Milan in their last Champions League group stage match at St James’ Park on Wednesday night.


Yankuba Minteh with astonishing early season stats after another goal and  an assist | OneFootball


To advance to the knockout stage of the Champions League, United must defeat Milan and hope that Paris Saint-Germain drops a point at Borussia Dortmund. A draw would guarantee progression to the Europa League, while a loss would see Howe’s team exit Europe entirely.

Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips and 19-year-old winger Yankuba Minteh have both been linked with transfers to Newcastle this January. Minteh is a Newcastle player who is on loan to Feyenoord till the end of the season.

Howe has stated that the club will ‘definitely look’ into the idea of terminating Minteh’s loan at Feyenoord early, but the Dutch champions must agree to the transfer. With Elliot Anderson, Jacob Murphy, and Harvey Barnes all out injured in recent weeks, the Magpies have been short on options.

Minteh has three goals and two assists in 16 games for Feyenoord this season, including three Champions League matches. Phillips has also appeared three times for Manchester City in the Champions League this season.

Phillips is poised to depart City in January, and Newcastle has singled out the England player as a potential loan target for the same month. This move is under consideration as they seek a temporary replacement for the suspended Sandro Tonali.

While Football Association regulations restrict players from participating in identical cup competitions for two different clubs within a single season, a modification in UEFA regulations from 2018 eliminated the concept of players being ‘cup-tied’ in European tournaments.

A statement on the UEFA website explains: “Teams competing in the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, and UEFA Europa Conference League knockout stages can register a maximum of three new eligible players during winter. Since 2018/19, it’s immaterial whether these players have previously played for another club in the competition, even if that club is still in contention.”

This alteration implies that Newcastle could potentially secure Phillips and/or recall Minteh, making them eligible to participate in any forthcoming Champions League or Europa League fixtures post the start of the new year. However, Phillips would not be able to partake in any possible Carabao Cup matches for his new team due to his prior involvement in Man City’s 1-0 loss against Newcastle at St James’ Park in September.

Newcastle were unable to play January arrivals Yoan Gouffran and Mathieu Debuchy in the Europa League during the 2012-13 season since the duo had already played in the competition for Bordeaux and Lille, respectively.

But the UEFA regulation change has eliminated that and will allow Newcastle to identify up to three new recruits in their Champions League or Europa League squad without any ‘cup-tied’ limits. That is, should they win their match against AC Milan on Wednesday evening.

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