Newcastle table opening £16m offer for European Championships history maker with ‘really top mentality’

James Trafford is a target for Newcastle this summer.James Trafford is a target for Newcastle this summer.
James Trafford is a target for Newcastle this summer. | Getty Images
Newcastle United are in the market to sign young talent this summer

Newcastle United have made a £16m bid to sign England goalkeeper James Trafford from Burnley.

The Athletic understands that the goalkeeping department is one of the main areas of focus for Newcastle’s recruitment team this summer as Eddie Howe scours the market to find further competition for first choice shot-stopper Nick Pope.

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At 21 years of age, Trafford is regarded as one of the best young prospects in English football and despite suffering relegation with Burnley last term he is rated highly by Gareth Southgate, who included him in his 33-man provisional England squad before a series of brutal omissions.

Trafford was scouted by Manchester City at the age of 12 after training with Carlisle United as a youngster. He was given his first professional contract in 2021 and showed signs of promise during loan spells at Accrington Stanley and Bolton Wanderers, notably keeping 26 clean sheets during the 2022/23 campaign with the Trotters and securing himself a place in the League One Team of the Season.

His performances earned him a starting spot for England during the U21 European Championships last summer, and it was his form during that tournament that earmarked him as a star in years to come.

Overall, Trafford kept a perfect six clean sheets in six games during the U21 European Championships whilst also saving a penalty in the final. This made him the first goalkeeper in the history of the competition to go the full duration without conceding and secured England their first title at U21 level since 1984.

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Last summer, Trafford’s form earned him a £19m move to Burnley, which made him the third most expensive English goalkeeper in history. After the move he was lauded by England U21 boss Lee Carsley.

“Wherever he goes and wherever he plays, he's got a really top mentality.” Carsley said.

However, Trafford’s meteoric rise has suffered arguably it’s first bump during a mixed first season with the Clarets which ended in relegation, with Arijanet Muric pushing him out of the starting line-up.

Despite the setback of relegation, Newcastle remain admirers of Trafford and are keen to bring in a talented and younger understudy to learn from Nick Pope.

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As it stands, Newcastle’ bid of £16m is likely to be rejected according to the Daily Mail, who add that the Championship side are holding out for a fee of at least £20m.

The likes of Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Chelsea are also believed to be keeping tabs on Trafford as the saga unfolds over the summer.

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