Newcastle scouts are on the hunt for potential new goalkeepers this summer, as the Chronicle understand Rob Elliot, Karl Darlow and Freddie Woodman’s futures are all uncertain.
Rafa Benitez is adamant that he will have three first-team worthy options between the sticks next term, should be remain in charge, but the Spaniard’s continuation at the helm could be what forces some out the door.
Elliot, first of all, was already transfer listed by the boss in January, and the 33-year-old was later moved to train with the Under 23s at Little Benton as no suitor came forward.
Darlow, on the other hand, may look for a way out of Tyneside if Benitez stays, as he is desperate for regular first-team minutes and knows that will not be the case at St James’ Park with Martin Dubravka the established number one.
The club are keen to retain Woodman, meanwhile, but he refused to sign a contract extension with the club after being denied a loan move earlier in the campaign, and will enter the final year of his current deal on July 1.
His situation is thought to have attracted the interest of a number of Premier League clubs, who may try and test the board’s resolve with a substantial bid.
In case we lose the trio, or some of, our scouts have been tasked with casting their judgement on a number of potential targets, including Paris Saint-Germain’s Kevin Trapp, Nice’s Walter Benitez, and a range of other shot-stoppers from around Europe.
These options are not just to warm the bench at St James’ Park, either, as the Chronicle claim Benitez wants to explore the market to find someone capable of challenging Dubravka for his place.
The 30-year-old signed permanently from Sparta Prague in 2018 featured in all of our 38 Premier League games in the season just gone, in which he kept eleven clean sheets.