Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce would be naïve to deny Karl Darlow a January move to Aston Villa, following reported interest in the goalkeeper from the Birmingham-based outfit.
Dean Smith has identified Darlow as a potential mid-season arrival for his side’s survival fight, according to the Chronicle, having lost first-choice shot-stopper Tom Heaton for the remainder of the season through a knee injury.
The Villans are yet to settle on a goalkeeper option to target this month, though Smith has confirmed his side’s intention to bring in a replacement for Heaton rather than rely on Jed Steer, Orjan Nyland or Lovre Kalinic.
Villa are currently a point above the Premier League relegation zone after losing 12 of their 21 games back in the top-flight, and host Manchester City next weekend while 18th-placed Bournemouth host 19th-placed Watford.
Bruce’s Magpies, meanwhile, will travel to Wolverhampton Wanderers next Saturday 13th in the league standings, four points clear of Villa and five points above the drop zone.
Would you sell Darlow to Aston Villa?
Selling Darlow to the Villa Park side as they look to stay afloat in the Premier League would not be a foolish thing for Newcastle to do, despite our close proximity to the claret and blue side in the table.
The Chronicle note that the club have discussed an extension with Darlow but were unable to come to an arrangement with the £2.7million-rated ‘keeper, making it even more likely that the 29-year-old will leave for free in the summer if we do not sell him in January.
Darlow’s clear status as nothing more than a back-up to Dubravka makes it evident that the club would not miss his services if he were to depart this month, too, and Bruce would be able to rely on Rob Elliot to serve as his deputy’ keeper at St. James’ Park until the summer.
Come the end of the current campaign, we will also welcome Freddie Woodman back to the North East from his loan spell in the Championship with Swansea City, where he has kept eight clean sheets in 26 second-tier appearances.
Woodman has been a mainstay of the Jacks’ league side, and is yet to miss a single minute of action in the Championship having started each of his appearances.
In other Newcastle United news, a 5 ft 11 Toon man is among a clutch of players being considered for potential January moves.