Howe to be reunited with Newcastle’s ‘wretched individual’ once branded ‘a turd’

Eddie Howe could be faced with an awkward reunion if he becomes Newcastle United manager in the next few days.

Howe was previously considered Newcastle’s second choice, but Unai Emery’s decision to stay with Villarreal has opened the door for the former Bournemouth boss at St James’ Park.

He has agreed a deal in principle to become Steve Bruce’s successor on a two-and-a-half-year contract, according toSky Sports.

The 43-year-old has not been in management since he left Bournemouth in August 2020 following the club's relegation from the Premier League.

And it is that relegation and the events surrounding it on the south coast which could throw up some difficulties at Newcastle.

That is because Newcastle winger Ryan Fraser left Bournemouth in contentious circumstances last year.

The 27-year-old winger ended his eight-year spell with the Cherries in June 2020 to join Newcastle on a free transfer, instead of staying with the club to complete the delayed 2019/20 campaign.

Bournemouth were subsequently relegated, leaving Fraser open to criticism over his loyalty, with former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan voicing a particularly strong opinion on the subject.

“There’s something about that sentiment that wraps up some of the parts of the football industry that are quite unpalatable,” Jordan said ontalkSPORT.

“Because whilst you are right and you have to look after yourself because there are times when no one is going to look after you, there is a degree of something called integrity, responsibility and respect,”

“You respected that club when you were getting what you wanted from it, and now you don’t when it doesn’t suit you.

“I’m not suggesting you should have loyalty beyond the realms of your contract, but in exceptional times, which we’re in now, you need exceptional people.

“And if I’m Newcastle, I’m looking at this wretched individual thinking: ‘When it came to adversity you didn’t want to stand up’.

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“I love Stevie Bruce, he’s a big mate of mine, he was a manager of mine at Palace and I think he’s a fantastic manager, I’m a great supporter of his at Newcastle. But I look at this guy’s character and I think: ‘You’re a turd’.”

Howe ended up not using Fraser for the final two games of the 2019/20 season, despite the winger still being at the club and available.

The Bournemouth boss said in June 2020 that he would only pick “players who are fully focused on the relegation battle”, although he did also offer praise for the Scotland international.

“I’ve enjoyed working with Ryan,” Howe said. “When you look at his career it’s been one of progression and improvement.

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“He didn’t deserve this ending. But circumstances have arose that made it happen. I’m sad for him. Now for it end the way it has, is uncomfortable for me.”

Fraser is not the only familiar face awaiting Howe on Tyneside, because former Bournemouth stars Callum Wilson and Matt Ritchie are also part of the squad.

Newcastle have been managed by interim boss Graeme Jones for the past two matches following Bruce’s sacking on October 20.

Bruce’s former assistant looks set to take charge of Newcastle’s Premier League match against Brighton on Saturday, with Howe unlikely to be appointed in time.

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