In Focus: Newcastle miss out on Slovakian international

According to Sky Sports, Newcastle United have failed in an attempt to sign Sparta Prague goalkeeper Martin Dubravka on loan until the end of the season.

What’s the story?

It is not exactly breaking news that Newcastle want to sign a new goalkeeper this month, with Rob Elliot and Karl Darlow taking it in turns between the sticks.

Neither has been able to seriously make an impression, and bringing a new stopper to St James’ Park is high on Rafael Benitez’s list of priorities during the winter window.

According to Sky Sports, Newcastle approached Sparta Prague in an attempt to take Dubravka on loan, but the Czech outfit rejected the offer.

The Magpies have also been credited with an interest in Napoli’s Pepe Reina, and it does appear that Benitez will explore a number of avenues in a bid to sign a new stopper this month.

What are Dubravka’s credentials?

Signed from Slovan Liberec on a free transfer last summer, Dubravka has made 15 appearances in all competitions for Sparta Prague during the 2017-18 campaign.

The 29-year-old has nine caps for Slovakia, and he was in the team that faced England in a 2018 World Cup qualifier at Wembley last year.

Dubravka is not exactly a name that will excite the Newcastle supporters, but he would bring experience and good pedigree to the Premier League club, while the stopper would certainly boost what has been a problem position for the Magpies throughout this season.

It is not exactly an easy task signing players of genuine quality during the January window, but it might be worth returning with a cash offer in an attempt to push Sparta Prague into a sale.

One thing is for certain, we have not heard the last of goalkeepers being linked with Newcastle with more than half of this month’s transfer window still left to run.