Newcastle's Rafa Benitez 'delighted' at Martin Dubravka signing - praises Lee Charnley for structure of deal

Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez admits he is "delighted" to complete the permanent signing of Slovakian international keeper Martin Dubravka from Sparta Prague.

And the Magpies boss has praised the setting up of the loan to buy deal with chief scout Steve Nickson and most significantly, managing director Lee Charnley, coming in for particular praise from the Spaniard.

"We’re delighted to finalise the permanent signing of Martin to Newcastle United today," said Benitez in a statement confirming his first summer signing, believed to have cost in the region of £4million.

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"Ever since he arrived with us on loan he has shown a fantastic attitude and great work ethic, and of course we have been very impressed with his performances for us on the pitch last season.

"This was one of the key positions we had identified we needed to strengthen and had been concerned about, so it is excellent news that we are able now to sign him on a permanent basis.

"The loan deal with an option to buy was the perfect deal for the club. It is credit to Lee Charnley and also Steve Nickson for putting that in place because it gave me and my staff the opportunity to look at him and work with him and see how he would perform for us before committing to signing him permanently."

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Given that tensions have been running high at United for the last 18 months, Benitez's praise for Charnley can potentially be seen as a step in the right direction for United fans.

The club and Benitez have seemed to be on a constant collision course with regards transfers, control on getting deals done, budgets and, of course, the manager's new deal.

Dubravka putting pen to paper on a four-year deal to June 2022 is what many will hope is the start of a busy summer at St James's Park, with Benitez keen for the club to match his ambitions of pushing United towards the Premier League top six, as well as competing in the cup competitions.

Benitez added: "It has been very good business for the club and we now say congratulations to Martin and look forward to having him with us for the long term at Newcastle United."