Martin Dubravka’s surprise Newcastle United absence explained amid Manchester United interest

Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka is attracting interest from Manchester United.

Eddie Howe has explained why Martin Dubravka missed Newcastle United’s Carabao Cup clash at Tranmere Rovers - amid interest from Manchester United.

Having started the Premier League season as back-up to Nick Pope, the Slovakian was expected to start at Prenton Park on Wednesday night.

However, Dubravka was absent from the matchday squad as Karl Darlow started in between the sticks with Mark Gillespie on the bench.

The 33-year-old’s absence had raised some suspicion - and that was heightened when news of Man United’s interest after full-time.

Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.
Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.
Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.

Erik ten Hag’s side are understood to have made a loan offer for Dubravka but his absence in Birkenhead was put down to illness.

Howe said: “He was feeling a little bit unwell today, that’s it.”

After leaving Dubravka out of the starting XI for the opening day win over Nottingham Forest, Howe said: “Very, very, very difficult decision.

“I’ve got three quality goalkeepers to pick from in Karl, Nick and Martin, last season, was excellent.

“Certainly, my decision to pick Nick wasn’t a reflection on him (Dubravka), it is more of a reflection on Nick and how good I think he is.

“There’s competition for places in that position as well, and I think that strength will help us through the season.”