Martin Dubravka has built up a reputation as one of the Premier League’s top goalkeepers since his initial loan arrival at Newcastle from Sparta Prague last January.
Newcastle made a shrewd move in negotiating an option to buy the stopper at the end of his temporary deal, and the Slovakian has gone from strength to strength this season.
His ability had come into question in recent weeks after some high profile errors, but on the whole, his contribution to the Magpies has saved many more points than it has cost them.
But although Dubravka’s contract at St James’ Park is not due to run out until 2022, the Newcastle Chronicle worryingly report that his agent, Pavel Zika, while speaking to the Czech media, has insisted there is interest in his client from European giants Juventus, as well as other Premier League clubs.
He also added, however, that both his, and the player’s, preferred option is to sign an extended deal at Newcastle.
It is easy to see why players would have their heads turned when the likes of Juve are among their admirers, but Dubravka arrived at Newcastle as a relatively unknown figure, and it was Rafa Benitez who gave him the platform in the biggest league in the world.
Any thoughts he may harbour of playing in the Champion’s League, or for a European elite club, should be placed on the back-burner, and his sole focus should be on repaying the faith Newcastle had in him.
Obviously, down the line, his Champion’s League dream will almost certainly lie away from Gallowgate — unless some, as yet unknown, multi-billionaire transforms the Magpies into the next Manchester City — but for now, he should continue building his reputation exactly where he is.
He is adored by the legion of Toon fans who sit behind him in either the Leazes or Gallowgate Ends, singing his name game after game, and he will not be idolised in the same way at many other clubs.
Of course, playing contract negotiations out in public is an old trick, and we believe the likelihood is simply an agent trying to frighten a few extra pounds out of the club when his improved deal is offered.
What are your thoughts on Dubravka? Will he sign a new deal and stay at Newcastle in the long term? Let us know below…