Martin Dubravka wanted Newcastle United to recall him from his loan spell at Manchester United, Eddie Howe has revealed.
The Magpies exercised a clause in the Slovakian’s loan agreement to bring him back to Tyneside on January 1 after he made just two Carabao Cup appearances at Old Trafford.
He was back in the Newcastle matchday squad for yesterday’s goalless draw at Premier League leaders Arsenal, and could feasibly start the FA Cup third round clash against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.
“Martin’s situation is that he wanted to come back, and we were delighted to welcome him back,” Howe told reporters at the Emirates Stadium.
“There was never an issue between me and Martin. He’s a top goalkeeper, and I’m delighted to welcome him back to the squad.”
Speaking to BBC Newcastle, Howe added: “You need as many high-quality players as you can and in our position currently, any player we have either back from injury or Martin’s situation is like a new signing for us.
“Martin’s attitude has been very good, there’s never been any issue between us and hopefully he’ll play a big part.”
In light of Nick Pope’s arrival from Burnley, Dubravka’s decision to push for a loan move to Man United last summer angered some Newcastle supporters.
The door, however, has remained open from Howe’s point of view after he reluctantly sanctioned the move in the first place.
Speaking last year, Howe said: “All I will say is I love Martin as a lad, he did brilliantly for us last year and he is an outstanding goalkeeper and I will have a chat with him at the right time.
“Of course yeah, the door is still open. A lot depends on what Martin wants. We will take it from there.”
Dubravka’s return means the club now has five senior goalkeepers on its books - Pope, Dubravka, Karl Darlow, Mark Gillespie and Loris Karius.
Naturally, that puts Karius’ future at St James’ Park in doubt with the short-term deal he signed in September due to expire this month.
Asked for an update on the former Liverpool’s situation, Howe replied: “There’s no update on Loris.”