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Newcastle dent Leicester’s Champions League bid with shock win

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Newcastle dent Leicester's Champions League bid with shock win

Newcastle United derailed Leicester City’s bid to qualify for next season’s Champions League with a 4-2 win on Friday that all but secured their place in the Premier League.

Defeat left Leicester third, two points in front of Chelsea and five ahead of West Ham, with both London clubs having a game in hand over the Foxes. Only the top four at the end of the Premier League season qualify for the Champions League.

Joe Willock, on loan from Arsenal, fired Newcastle in front in the 22nd minute at the King Power Stadium as he scored in his fourth successive top-flight game for the Magpies.

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And the visitors doubled their lead before half-time with a rare goal from Paul Dummett.

Callum Wilson appeared to put the result beyond doubt with two second-half goals for Newcastle.

Marc Albrighton and Kelechi Iheanacho however, both scored inside the final 10 minutes for Leicester before Newcastle saw out the game.Leicester, who face Chelsea in the FA Cup final next weekend, are now in danger of fresh Champions League heartache after they missed out on the top four of the final day of last season.

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‘LACKED CONCENTRATION’

Their three remaining league games are all against teams currently in the top six, with Brendan Rodgers’ men travelling to Manchester United on Tuesday before they face Chelsea and Tottenham after their Wembley clash with the Blues.

“We lacked concentration and if you do that against good teams and good players they punish you,” Rodgers told Sky Sports.

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Leicester suffered a setback shortly before kick-off when experienced defender Jonny Evans pulled out after being injured in the warm-up, with Rodgers saying: “He is the brain in our defensive line…It was big blow for us.”

Rodgers, however, insisted: “We are still in a really good position and everything is still in our hands.”

Newcastle’s win, which took place a day after UK tax authorities dropped their criminal investigation into the club, saw them move 12 points clear of the relegation zone with three games left to play.

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They will be assured of top-flight survival without kicking a ball if Fulham fail to beat Burnley on Monday.

“Some of the counter-attacking was excellent, delighted with the win,” said Newcastle manager Steve Bruce.

“We made it a bit hairy towards the end. We are not safe, for the Premier League you can’t take it for granted.”

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Newcastle made the early running and got the goal they deserved when Willock capitalised on a mistake by Caglar Soyuncu to beat Kasper Schmeichel from 10 yards.

Dummett made it 2-0 in the 34th minute when he powered in a header from Matt Ritchie’s corner.

Midway through the second half, Newcastle were 3-0 in front when Ritchie’s pass down the left evaded Timothy Castagne and allowed Wilson to round Wilson to round Schmeichel before scoring.

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Wilson had his second goal and Newcastle’s fourth in the 73rd minute firing in the rebound from a tight angle, after his initial shot hit the post, to crown a counter-attack.

Newcastle were cruising at 4-0 ahead only to suffer a nervous finish following late goals from Albrighton and Iheanacho.

Magpies goalkeeper Martin Dubravka had to make a brilliant stop to preserve his side’s two-goal lead when he denied Ayoze Perez from point-blank range.

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Newcastle table £10m loan offer, player out of contract in the summer

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Newcastle table £10m loan offer, player out of contract in the summer

Newcastle have reportedly made a £10 million loan approach for Jesse Lingard in the final days of the January transfer window, according to 90Min. According to the report, despite the fact that conversations have lasted a month, they ‘anticipate’ this offer to be ‘accepted.’

Lingard, who is 29 years old, has only started two of his 14 league and cup games this season. That’s following a brilliant loan spell with West Ham last season, in which he netted nine goals and contributed five assists in 16 appearances. In June, his contract will expire.

Newcastle, as well as West Ham and Tottenham, have been heavily connected with Lingard. However, according to the source, Newcastle has offered United a £10 million loan fee for Lingard after extensive discussions.

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Image Credit: Sky Sports

Unless he accepts a new Old Trafford contract, such a deal would likely put an end to his United career. It’s unknown whether Lingard wants to transfer, but it’s been said that Newcastle would have to pay him twice as much as he is now.

Lingard still needs to be persuaded. Newcastle triumphed over the weekend, which is crucial not only in terms of staying up but also in terms of attracting players this month. It provides those who are being hunted a better chance of surviving.

Lingard possesses the ability to increase Newcastle’s hopes of remaining in the Premier League significantly. If he joins on loan, Newcastle will have six months to persuade him to sign a permanent contract – and it could work out.

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Amanda Staveley is hard-pressed at Newcastle-Duncan Castles

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Amanda Staveley is hard-pressed at Newcastle-Duncan Castles

After an ownership shift last year, Newcastle United haven’t performed as well as they wished, not just on the pitch but in the backroom as well. Handling a couple or more jobs, including the CEO post, has proved harder than minority shareholder Amanda Staveley could handle, putting her under pressure.

According to Transfer Window Podcast journalist, Duncan Castles, Amanda’s underperformance could jeopardize her position at Newcastle in the long run. “That contract should be cancelled at any point, it is not an indefinite agreement,” he stated.

Castles observes that the pressure Amanda Staveley is under might even worsen, given how unsatisfied the immediate former owner is with the 48-year old businesswoman’s work. “…there could be additional pressure…Mike Ashley is not happy with how the club is being run,” the journalist said.

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The British executive was at the front row in fighting for Newcastle’s ownership change due to her amiable relations with the East, and she got a B.O.D position as reward, but her workload seems too hard to handle.

Castles thinks the pressure and unsatisfactory results aren’t enough to oust Amanda, though…at least not soon.

According to him, getting the wanted results doesn’t come overnight, so Ashley’s dissatisfaction with the current C.E.O won’t necessarily affect her position unless the majority owners think that she has had enough time to make change but failed to.

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Her opportunity to showcase her real ability will only come when she really settles into her role, so it might be a while before her position is under threat, no matter how pressurized she is now.

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Newcastle sent ‘overspending’ transfer warning

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Newcastle table £10m loan offer, player out of contract in the summer

Newcastle failed to win all three points against Watford despite the presence of Chris Wood and Kieran Trippier.

They’ve now been advised not to overspend in the event of relegation.

According to the Daily Mail, Trippier has been offered a £100,000-a-week contract, while Wood will be paid £80,000 per week.

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Dr. Dan Plumley, a football finance expert, believes the Magpies might lose £60 million in revenue if they are relegated to the Championship.

“You have to balance wages with the risk of relegation,” he told Football Insider.

“Relegation would mean a £60m reduction in revenue overnight. Even if you finish bottom, the TV payment is £100m for the season.

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“Your parachute payment for that first season after relegation is about £40m.

“Yes, they have got money to spend and are okay under FFP. They have got an ownership structure which could spend whatever they want at any time.

“But the broadcasting payment drops off a cliff after relegation. If you don’t get back up quickly, you lose your parachute payments and it gets even worse.

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“The aim in the short term is to stay in the Premier League but you have to balance that with what happens if you are relegated.

“That’s where the wage structure comes into play. You can’t throw everything at it because of that risk.”

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