By Noel Whelan

10th Nov, 2021 | 4:00pm

Newcastle told to trust Howe as plan to sign Jones on 'potential loan' reported - pundit

Noel Whelan has insisted a Newcastle loan move for Phil Jones in January could help the Magpies consolidate their Premier League status.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, conceded there will be “worry” about the 29-year-old’s lack of football in recent years.

According to Mail Online (November 7th), Jones is being chased by 13 clubs ahead of the winter transfer window – including Newcastle, Watford, and Derby.

The Man United defender could become one of Eddie Howe’s first signings, after he was confirmed as the new Magpies manager on Monday (November 8th).

Football Insider also understands Newcastle are set to appoint Michael Emenalo as their director of football after a breakthrough in talks.

Whelan claimed the new hires will have identified the defensive crisis at St James’ Park.

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“Right now, the faith needs to be put into Eddie Howe,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“He’s seen them during games, he’s seen them on the training ground – everyone knows that they are lacking defensively. The stats don’t lie.

“That is one area of the pitch where they will have to get the incomings spot-on in January.

“I can see why they’re targeting Jones. However, the worry is that he hasn’t played an awful lot of football recently.

“But he will be available in that winter window. That’s important because it’s a very difficult period to do business in.

“It could be a loan move. I don’t see him being a long-term servant at the club, but more of a stop-gap option.

“But it’s about consolidating their Premier League status, and a loan move for him could help do that. He’s got the experience in the top flight.”

In other news, Kieran Maguire reveals Newcastle’s transfer plan after “speaking to agents“.