Three clubs bid to sign key Newcastle player

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

Karl Darlow is heading for a summer exit at Newcastle United – amid interest from a clutch of Championship clubs.

Middlesbrough have had a £5million bid for the goalkeeper rejected by Newcastle.

But the club is expected to return with an improved offer for Darlow.

Reading and Aston Villa are also considering moves for the 26-year-old, who made 34 league appearances for Newcastle last season.

United manager Rafa Benitez is looking to sign another goalkeeper this summer.

Napoli’s Pepe Reina – who played under Benitez at Liverpool and has one year left on his contract at the Serie A club – is one target.

Darlow was unhappy at losing his place to Rob Elliot for the final three games of Newcastle’s Championship-winning campaign.

The former Nottingham Forest player, signed in the summer of 2014, had been outstanding between the posts after his recall to the starting XI at the expense of Matz Sels early in the season.

Benitez has already loaned Sels, signed last summer, to Anderlecht.

The Gazette reported last month that Benitez was planning to changes to the club’s goalkeeping line-up.

Freddie Woodman – who helped England win the Under-20 World Cup in the summer – will be loaned out again.

Benitez also has Elliot and long-standing No 1 Tim Krul – who spent the second half of last season on loan at AZ Alkmaar – at St James’s Park.

Darlow, reluctant to go back to bench duty after a long stretch in goal, is waiting on developments.

Meanwhile, Jota has been pulled out of a friendly – as Brentford expect a bid for him.

United have previously been linked with the attacking midfielder.

And Jota did not play against Aldershot last night as Brentford wanted on a bid from an unnamed Premier League club.

The 25-year-old reportedly had a meeting with Dean Smith, the club’s head coach, on Thursday.

Everton, Huddersfield Town and West Ham United have also been credited with an interest in the Spaniard, who joined Brenford from Celta Viga in 2014.

Jota has a year left on his contract and is available for around £8million.