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Newcastle: Darlow to leave as free agent after Magpies rejected summer bid

Newcastle: Darlow to leave as free agent after Magpies rejected summer bid

Newcastle United are willing to lose Karl Darlow for free next summer, after rejecting an offer to sell the long-term servant to Leeds in the recent transfer window, according to Football Insider.

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The Championship outfit made advances to sign Darlow in the summer, as the Elland Road natives had doubt over their goalkeeper contingent following elimination in the play-off semi-finals.

Darlow has been on Newcastle’s accounts since 2014 when he joined the North East outfit from boyhood side Nottingham Forest, where he would return on loan for the ’14/15 campaign and keep 12 clean sheets in 42 Championship encounters (TransferMarkt).

Life on Tyneside proved tricky at first for the Northampton-born shot-stopper, though, as he featured in just ten senior fixtures across all competitions in his first season at the club, before cementing the number one role following the Magpies’ relegation to the second-tier.

But promotion back into the Premier League saw Darlow return to being Rafa Benitez’s second-choice, and after conceding 15 goals in ten games once reinstalled between the posts, has not played a top-flight game with Martin Dubravka the undisputed number one since his arrival in January 2018.

Newcastle still see Darlow as the most-worthy stand-in for Dubravka, however, with their view so severe that they rejected the chance to land a transfer fee for his talents in the recent window as Leeds shopped around for potential options.

The Elland Road outfit were unsure over their goalkeeper contingent at the time in former Real Madrid man Kiko Casilla and Bailey Peacock-Farrell, who has since joined Burnley for a reported £2.5million (BBC).

Newcastle are not expected to listen to offers for Darlow in January, either, and will instead allow the 28-year-old’s contract to run down, at which point he will hit free agency in the summer of 2020.

With Dubravka the undisputed number one at Newcastle, the Magpies not selling Darlow seems a strange decision to make given the North East outfit only see the Northampton-born shot-stopper as someone worthy enough of being second choice.

Newcastle also have another senior goalkeeper on their books in Rob Elliott, who could have occupied the back-up role if his future would have included the same minutes as Darlow faces – the 28-year-old last featured in the Premier League in February 2018, with his only outing since coming in the Carabao Cup defeat to Leicester City last month (TransferMarkt).

Deciding to keep Darlow at the expense of any transfer fee did allow Freddie Woodman to join Swansea City on loan, though, and his start to life in the Championship with three clean sheets in six games – including against last season’s play-off finalists Derby County and semi-finalists Leeds – should offer Newcastle confidence they made the right decision.

Newcastle fans, should the Magpies have sold Darlow to Leeds? Let us know in the comments below…

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