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Newcastle: Martin Dubravka closing in on move to Manchester United

An update has emerged regarding the future of Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka at St James’ Park beyond the summer transfer window.

What’s the talk?

Craig Hope has revealed that a broad agreement has been reached for the shot-stopper to join Manchester United.

The Daily Mail journalist tweeted: “Re Martin Dubravka & Man Utd. Framework of loan deal in place. Newcastle not signed off on it yet but player has made it known he wants to go, so set to happen. I’m told £6m option to buy that becomes obligation based on certain criteria being met (which is likely) #mufc #nufc.”

Meanwhile, Fabrizio Romano has claimed that all parties have agreed to the move, tweeting on Monday evening: “Excl: Manchester United are set to sign Martin Dúbravka, here we go! Full agreement reached, loan deal with buy option £5m not mandatory. It’s agreed with Newcastle and player side #MUFC Dúbravka will travel tonight, medical on Tuesday. Antony and new 2nd goalkeeper coming.”

Blunder by Dan Ashworth

Allowing Dubravka to leave Newcastle before the transfer deadline would be a blunder by sporting director Dan Ashworth, as it would leave the club without a suitable backup goalkeeping option.

Nick Pope has been a phenomenal signing so far, as he has averaged a SofaScore rating of 7.40 and saved 79% of the shots against him in the Premier League this season. Only Allan Saint-Maximin, Kieran Trippier and Fabian Schar have averaged higher ratings in Eddie Howe’s squad, which illustrates how impressive the England international has been as the Magpies’ last line of defence.

This has left the Slovakian shot-stopper behind him in the pecking order after being the number one for the majority of the 2021/22 campaign.

Despite his demotion, losing the £38k-per-week stalwart would be a blow, as he is a reliable pair of hands and would be an excellent backup for Pope. In the top flight last season, Dubravka averaged a SofaScore rating of 6.88 – ranking eighth in the squad – and did not make a single error directly leading to a goal.

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He was solid, albeit unspectacular, and showed that he is someone on whom Howe can rely. However, that is not the case with Karl Darlow, who now looks set to become the second choice stopper behind Pope.

The 31-year-old was a liability in the Premier League last term as he averaged a SofaScore rating of 6.47 – ranking 26th in the squad – across eight appearances. He only saved 62% of the shots that he faced and made one error leading to a goal, whilst also giving away a penalty.

These statistics show that there is a huge drop-off in quality between Dubravka and Darlow, which is why allowing the Slovakian to leave and promoting the latter to being Pope’s main backup would be a blunder.

Ashworth must not gamble on the fitness of Newcastle’s number one, as an injury to the former Burnley man would leave the Toon with a goalkeeper who has proven himself to be an unreliable performer.

Article title: Newcastle: Martin Dubravka closing in on move to Manchester United

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