In Focus: Newcastle can’t afford to be too hasty with Dubravka deal decision

According to reports in The Mirror, Newcastle United are ready to pay up to £5.2m to sign Sparta Prague goalkeeper Martin Dubravka on a permanent deal following his hugely impressive debut in the 1-0 win against Manchester United at St James’ Park on Sunday, but a deal will only happen if they stay up.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the Magpies brought the Czech Republic international to Tyneside on a loan deal until the end of the season during the January transfer window, but the 29-year-old didn’t make his bow until the clash against the Red Devils at the weekend.

The Mirror says that the Toon will pay Sparta Prague £1.2m if the stopper plays six Premier League matches between now and the end of the top flight season, and they trigger a permanent move by splashing out another £4m in the summer.

The report adds that is likely to happen unless they are relegated to the Championship, and their win against Jose Mourinho’s men certainly boosted their survival chances with 11 matches of the season to go.

How good was Dubravka on his debut?

He was brilliant.

While he made a few decent saves, it was his overall goalkeeping performance that would have impressed the club and the St James’ Park faithful.

The 29-year-old commanded his box well, wasn’t afraid to bark out instructions to his teammates and his distribution was also really eye-catching.

Would he be a good signing for Newcastle?

If he can continue to perform at the level he did against Man United he certainly would be, but the club also shouldn’t be too hasty with any decision.

The 29-year-old kept a clean sheet and just seemed to give his defence more confidence than perhaps Karl Darlow and Rob Elliot have done previously, but it was just one game.

Benitez has been looking for a long-term answer between the sticks since the start of last summer’s transfer window, and while it appears as though he may have found a potential one, Freddie Woodman looks to be a top prospect for the future.

However, if they only have to pay £4m to bring him to St James’ Park on a permanent deal and he continues to prove himself in the coming weeks, it would be a no-brainer to sign Dubravka at the end of the campaign.