Emotional exit triggers first high-profile Newcastle United departure as cut-price move expected

Newcastle United manager Eddie HoweNewcastle United manager Eddie Howe
Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe | Getty Images
Martin Dubravka has spent six-and-a-half years on Tyneside and will be allowed to leave Newcastle United this summer

Celtic are set to bid for Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka following Joe Hart’s emotional exit, according to reports.

Eddie Howe will allow the Slovak - who played 30 times in 2023-24 - to leave after six years at St James’ Park. Despite being regarded as one of the Magpies’ best goalkeepers in recent years, Dubravka suffered a notable decline last season.

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The 35-year-old played most of the campaign once Nick Pope suffered a shoulder injury against Manchester United in December. Dubravka shipped in a staggering 48 goals across all competitions, with his lack of presence affecting Newcastle’s backline.

NewcastleWorld understands Howe is looking to sign a new goalkeeper this summer - and Burnley’s James Trafford is currently the No.1 target. Toon chiefs have reportedly bid around £15million for the 21-year-old shot-stopper.

Loris Karius has been allowed to leave, making Pope and Mark Gillespie the only first-team options should Dubravka also head for the exit. The Daily Record claim Celtic are confident they can sign the Toon keeper for a nominal fee.

Brendan Rodgers is on the hunt for a new goalie after Hart confirmed his retirement last month. The England veteran called time on his career following a three-year stay at Parkhead, where he won three Scottish Premierships, two Scottish Cups and three Scottish League Cups.

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At 35, Dubravka may feel as though he has more to offer outside of the Premier League. The lure of dropping down a level, representing a huge club in Celtic and playing first-team football could prove tempting for the Newcastle stalwart.

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