Goalkeeper facing tough decision at Newcastle as Rafa Benitez hands out new deals

Newcastle keeper Karl Darlow. Picture by Frank Reid.
Newcastle keeper Karl Darlow. Picture by Frank Reid.

Karl Darlow is facing an uncertain future at Newcastle United – as Rafa Benitez moves to secure two players on new deals.

Darlow was outstanding in the club’s Championship-winning campaign.

But Benitez is determined to sign a new goalkeeper in this summer’s transfer window.

Darlow, linked with Championship side Reading, is unlikely to be Benitez’s first-choice for the new Premier League campaign.

And the 26-year-old ex-Nottingham Forest man must leave the Magpies if he wants to be certain of playing week in, week out.

Newcastle have been scouring the market for potential goalkeeping recruits.

Benitez has already lost out on Willy Caballero, who left Manchester City and joined Premier League champions Chelsea.

United’s manager also has an interest in former Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina, who has a year left on his Napoli contract.

Darlow reported back for the start of pre-season training on Monday along with goalkeeping colleagues Tim Krul and Rob Elliot.

Benitez has already loaned out Matz Sels this summer – the 25-year-old has joined Belgian champions Anderlecht on a year-long deal – and it seems certain that at least one more goalkeeper will leave St James’s Park before the transfer window closes.

Dutch international Krul, for his part, is looking to impress Benitez, having had loans at AZ Alkmaar and Ajax last season.

The 29-year-old – who ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in October 2015 – has one year left on his Newcastle deal.

United, meanwhile, are continuing their efforts in the transfer market.

But the club, which this week signed defender Florian Lejeune from Eibar, is not understood to be close to a breakthrough.

However, Newcastle defenders Jamaal Lascelles and Paul Dummett are set to sign new and improved deals at the club.

Captain Lascelles’ deal runs out in 2020, while left-back Dummett signed a new long-term contract last year.