Date: 13th February 2020 at 7:20am
Written by: Tony O'Connell

Sky Sports pundit Danny Mills has backed Newcastle United’s decision to reject transfer offers for Karl Darlow and allow the goalkeeper to leave for free this summer.

Darlow is out of contract at the close of the campaign and is questionable to sign a new deal having so far failed to reach an agreement over new terms, likely given the 29-year-old has solely played as Martin Dubravka’s back up since the Slovakian’s arrival in 2018.

Northampton-born Darlow last started a Premier League game in February 2018 and has only been awarded minutes in the cup competitions since Steve Bruce replaced Rafa Benitez in the dugout.

Reports by Football Insider recently claimed that Darlow is now willing to walk away for free in the summer, knowing that he could land a lucrative, long-term deal elsewhere if Newcastle do not require a transfer fee for his services.

The club is also said to have turned down offers reaching £4million over the past year, with leading Championship sides believed to have courted Darlow’s signature, while Aston Villa were credited with an interest in the 6 ft 2 shot-stopper in January after losing Tom Heaton through injury.

Mills is adamant that the Magpies made the right decision by rejecting a quick payday for Darlow, as the funds on offer would have been insufficient to land a worthwhile replacement.

Mills told Football Insider: “They’ll be looking at it and just thinking: ‘Who have we got to replace, who’s in there to make a difference if we really need it, do we have strength in depth to let somebody go?’

Should the club have sold Darlow in January?

Yes

Yes

No

No

“Without sounding daft, £4million is next to nothing in the grand scheme of things. That’s what it is, it’s no real fee at all.

“They’ll have looked at it and thought it is what it is, we’ll keep him around because £4million certainly is not going to change our fortunes in terms of transfer budget or anything like that.”

While Mills is adamant that the club made the right decision by rejecting the offers for Darlow, it still feels like the Toon took the wrong path with his future as the Nottingham Forest product was never going to feature regularly all the while Dubravka is fit.

Bruce could easily have made do with Rob Elliot occupying the role of the Slovakian’s deputy at St. James’ Park over the coming months, before then considering Freddie Woodman for the position upon his return from a loan spell with Swansea City.

The club may still have needed to sign another goalkeeper in the summer, but at least by selling Darlow in January, we would have a further £4m to play with.

In other Newcastle United news, a £20m midfielder’s agent has confirmed his client would consider joining the Magpies this summer.

 
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