Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka has asked to leave the Magpies after agreeing personal terms with Premier League giants Manchester United, according to reliable journalist Fabrizio Romano.
The Lowdown: Lack of minutes
After struggling with a foot injury during the beginning of the campaign, the 33-year-old shot-stopper regained his position as Newcastle’s number one for the remainder of last season, in which he made 27 appearances.
However, with plans to push for European football, Magpies manager Eddie Howe was keen to bring in another ‘keeper to St James’ Park this summer, and the Tyneside club ended up signing Nick Pope from Burnley for £10m.
To Dubravka’s dismay, the Englishman has now emerged as Howe’s preferred choice in goal, having played all four of Newcastle’s Premier League games so far this season.
The Latest: Dubravka’s move
With Man United looking to bring in a second goalkeeping option, they are now hoping to close in on a move for the Slovakia international. Romano has shared an update on their pursuit, revealing that a deal could soon be done.
Taking to Twitter, the reliable journalist claimed: “Manchester United are now pushing to make Martin Dubravka their next signing: Newcastle expected to answer today after official loan bid submitted with £5m buy option included. #MUFC
“Dubravka agreed personal terms – he has asked NUFC board to leave as he dreams of Man Utd.”
The Verdict: Disappointing
Having averaged 2.8 saves per game in the Premier League last season, Dubravka’s possible departure may come as a disappointment to many Newcastle fans, seeing as he has gone on to make 130 appearances for the club.
As per FBRef, compared with positional peers across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year, the 33-year-old ranks in the top 3% for post-shot expected goals per shot on target and for average length of goal kicks.
Was Martin Dubravka Rafa's best signing at Newcastle?
The former metric refers to the prevention of expected goals based on how likely a goalkeeper is to save the shot, with Dubravka’s high ranking in this regard indicating that he is more likely to save shots which are generally more difficult to stop.
Therefore, that he is in all likelihood opting to sit on Man United’s bench behind David de Gea will come as a blow for Newcastle, rather than him going somewhere where he would at least be a probable first choice.
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