Reports by Takvim earlier this week claimed that Newcastle United have joined the growing list of suitors emerging for Fenerbahce goalkeeper Altay Bayindir, who could allow Steve Bruce to say goodbye to Karl Darlow this summer.
It is thought that the Toon sent scouts to observe Bayindir in action against Gaziantep on Monday night, where they were joined by representatives from Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and AFC Ajax.
Tottenham Hotspur, Sheffield United and several Bundesliga outfits have also previously been credited with approaching Fenerbahce over a move for Bayindir, who the Super Lig giants were claimed to value at £12.5m last year.
The Yellow Canaries’ asking price has since risen in line with the heightened interest, along with Bayindir saving the Istanbul side’s blushes on numerous occasions and establishing a place in the Turkish national side.
Bayindir has kept 12 clean sheets over 34 appearances across all competitions this season, including shutting out Trabzonspor and Galatasaray, while starting all but one of Fenerbahce’s Super Lig fixtures.
His efforts have impressed Oktay Derelioglu greatly, with the ex-Besiktas striker telling Hurriyet last month: “In my opinion, the best squad of the league is in Fenerbahce. But if it were not for Altay Bayindir, the team could have been around 48-49 points.”
Instead, the Yellow Canaries are second in the Super Lig standings on 66 points, four behind leaders Besiktas and four clear of third-placed Galatasaray, with seven games to play.
Fenerbahce would be expected to demand in excess of Bayindir’s TransferMarkt valuation of £12m to sell the shot-stopper this summer, but Newcastle sealing a deal against the widespread rival interest could see Bruce land a suitable replacement for Darlow.
Bruce had entrusted Darlow with guarding the Magpies’ net for each of their opening 25 Premier League fixtures this season and proved to be one of the Toon’s more consistent performers, yet was ousted after criticism for his efforts in defeat to Manchester United.
His performances between the sticks even led to suggestions of an England call-up, having started the season with a sublime showing at Tottenham Hotspur and later having been the star of the show to keep Liverpool at bay in December.
The handling of his becnhing angered Darlow and is expected to see the 30-year-old look to force through a move away from St. James’ Park, which would leave Bruce needing to sign cover capable of offering the same impact if called on.
Bayindir may be just the man having been lauded for his importance in Fenerbahce claiming around 20 more points than they would have been expected to claim without the 23-year-old, who commands the goal line at 6 ft 5 and could be a Toon star for the next decade.