Newcastle United will look at adding a new goalkeeper to their squad when the January transfer window opens – with Victor Valdes and Steve Harper in the frame.
The Magpies have seen their options in that department considerably reduced this week, after No 1 Tim Krul was ruled out for the rest of the season.
Krul ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while on international duty with Holland, and will be out for around eight months.
Back-up goalkeeper Karl Darlow has an ankle injury which sees him wearing a protective boot, and could be out for several weeks.
That leaves just third-choice Rob Elliot and youngster Freddie Woodman as Steve McClaren’s options.
The Magpies can’t bring in a free transfer because their 25-man Premier League squad, which they named last month, is full, while an emergency loan is out as they still have two fit, senior goalkeepers.
However, should Darlow’s injury take longer to heal than hoped, Newcastle will look at signing a shot-stopper on a short-term contract when the transfer window reopens in the new year.
Manchester United goalkeeper Valdes has been linked with a move after falling out of favour at Old Trafford.
The former Barcelona star is available on a free transfer following a bust-up with Louis van Gaal.
And ex-United ace Harper is also a possibility. The 40-year-old is without a club after leaving Hull City at the end of last season and would jump at the chance to return to St James’s Park – saying he’d be ready to go now if they had room in their squad.
He said: “I’m keeping myself fit but it is irrelevant sadly as they have a 25-man squad which they can’t add to, but I’ve had a load of phone calls over the summer.
“I played the last seven games of the season and I enjoyed last year. I kept four clean sheets in nine Premier League games, not bad for an old man.
“But we’ll see; I’ve had a million phone calls from all sorts of agents asking me about this, that and the other. It was Denmark last week and a couple of calls more recently.
“I’ll keep ticking over, obviously you can’t go on forever but if something does come up which ticks all the boxes then I’d certainly jump at the opportunity.”