Newcastle United player’s agent reveals view on starting XI after transfer
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The club signed Pope from relegated Burnley in a £10million deal last month, and the move has led to speculation over the future of longstanding No.1 Dubravka.
David Zik, the Slovakia international’s representative, has spoken about the move – and the implications for his client, who addressed his future in an interview with the Gazette late last season.
“We had a call with Martin about this topic,” Zik told Sport.sk. “Of course, we are aware that Nick’s a quality goalkeeper and domestic representative.
“On the other hand, Martin has nothing to fear. In terms of quality, Martin is one of the best in the Premier League. We’ll see how it all develops.
“We understand that Newcastle United wants to have all posts doubled in quality. However, Martin has long been among the best goalkeepers in the Premier League.”
Zik believes that Dubravka, 33, will get the nod over 30-year-old Pope, an England international, for the club’s season-opener against Nottingham Forest on August 6.
“Clubs have to look ahead,” said Zik. “It (the arrival of Pope) could be a good alternative for Newcastle in the future.
“I believe that Martin will start the season. He has provided extremely high-quality services for the club over the past four and a half years. He kept the team in difficult situations many times. Perhaps, thanks to this, as well as a responsible approach during preparation, he will defend his current position.
“On the other hand, we would be a bad agency if we didn’t also think about option B. However, we will deal with another alternative or alternatives only when it is necessary.”
Dubravka and Zik were expecting the club to sign another goalkeeper following talks with the club late last season.
“The last time we spoke was at the end of last season,” said Zik. “Even then, they did not rule out the possibility of an arrival, so we were somewhat expecting it.
“It’s understandable that Newcastle’s squad, given the club’s financial resources, will continue to grow and expand. We feel that Martin’s position in the club is strong, but we’re still trying to look for new opportunities on the market.”