Long-serving Newcastle United duo in line for exit as second summer signing edges closer

The latest surrounding Newcastle United’s goalkeeper department as Eddie Howe moves for Burnley’s Nick Pope.

Transfer talk surrounding Newcastle United’s goalkeeping department has ramped up in recent days - including both incomings out and outgoings.

Magpies head coach Eddie Howe is aiming to freshen up the area, which currently holds Martin Dubravka, Karl Darlow, Freddie Woodman and Mark Gillespie.

Here, NewcastleWorld takes a look at the current situation surrounding the club’s goalkeepers:

Competition for the number one spot

GK: Martin DubravkaGK: Martin Dubravka
GK: Martin Dubravka

It’s no secret that Howe is keen to recruit a goalkeeper capable of rivalling Martin Dubravka for the number one jersey - and several names have already been linked.

The latest is Burnley’s Nick Pope, with reports from the Telegraph today claiming a transfer worth £8m-£10m is at an advanced stage.

NewcastleWorld understands a deal is likely to be completed, though the Clarets value the England international at a slightly higher valuation.

Similar was said about Dean Henderson with sources in the North West adamant that the 25-year-old Manchester United goalkeeper was on his way to St James’ Park.

Henderson however, as widely reported elsewhere, is set to join newly-promoted Nottingham Forest on a season-long loan after failing to displace David de Gea at Old Trafford.

There has also been longstanding links to Albania international Thomas Strakosha, who is now a free agent after leaving Lazio. Chelsea and Fulham have been touted as potential destinations.

But all being well, it looks as though Pope will be chosen as the man to battle Dubravka for the No.1 spot and add some welcome competition.

That said, Pope will undoubtedly want assurances over his game time as he eyes a place in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad in November.

The 30-year-old has made over 150 appearances for Burnley and has won the club’s player of the year on two occasions all whilst being regarded as one of the best shotstoppers in the top-flight.

The only concern however is Pope isn’t rated highly with the ball at his feet, though his potential arrival surely plays down suggestions that Howe is desperate for a goalkeeper that is good in possession.

Dubravka won’t make it easy for Pope. A foot injury hampered the Slovakian at the beginning of last season but got stronger as the months progressed.

It might be easy for some to forget how strong of a goalkeeper Dubravka is on his day, with his memorable debut against Manchester United a clear benchmark.

Freddie Woodman set to go - but what about Karl Darlow?

Freddie Woodman’s future on Tyneside was all-but decided in January when he was loaned to AFC Bournemouth for the second half of the campaign, which proved to be hugely unsuccessful as the 25-year-old failed to make a league appearance.

A World Cup under-20s winner with England, Woodman had been tipped as United’s future No.1. Bar the beginning of last season though, when Dubravka and Karl Darlow were unavailable, he has rarely got a look-in.

Newcastle United goalkeeper Freddie Woodman. Newcastle United goalkeeper Freddie Woodman.
Newcastle United goalkeeper Freddie Woodman.

With one-year remaining on his current contract, Woodman will have the opportunity to reignite his promising career when his expected move to Preston North End goes through - ending his nine-year association with the Magpies.

It’s hard to believe Karl Darlow joined Newcastle from Nottingham Forest eight years ago but in that time has proven to be a dependable back-up.

Next season however, Darlow might not even play second fiddle. At the age of 31, he is entering his prime and must consider what is best for his career.

Middlesbrough are reportedly eyeing Darlow, which in many ways could be the perfect move as it means no relocation for himself and his family.

The forgotten man 

You’ll hear no complaints from Mark Gillespie over his game time. He knew he’d be behind Dubravka and Darlow in the pecking order when he re-signed for his boyhood club two years ago.

And that won’t change anytime soon, with the 30-year-old, who has made just three first-team appearances, likely to fill in on the bench or appear in the under-23s team every so often.

That isn’t to do Gillespie any disservice mind as he is a popular figure in the dressing room.