Pep Guardiola’s dissatisfaction with former Manchester City number one Joe Hart has sparked an international goalkeeper exchange which Newcastle United stand to emerge as the big winners of.
In order to replace Hart, Guardiola has returned to his old haunt Barcelona, from whom he is close to signing Claudio Bravo. To replace the Chilean, Los Blaugrana will take Dutch international Jasper Cillessen from Ajax, who want the Toon’s Tim Krul to fill his boots.
It’s alleged Krul, who has a year left to run on his current deal, will extend his Magpies contract before moving to Amsterdam on loan for a season.
He is yet to feature for Newcastle this campaign as he continues his rehabilitation from a serious knee injury, but it appears he doesn’t feature prominently in Rafa Benitez’s long-term plans.
The Spaniard has brought his own first-choice stopper in this summer, acquiring Belgian Matz Sels from Gent for £4.5m.
Sels has fended off highly-rated Karl Darlow while Rob Elliott recovers from his own knee injury to start all of the Magpies’ four matches so far this season and, after tying him to a five-year deal, Benitez’s admiration for him is obvious.
Krul reportedly takes home £60,000-a-week on Tyneside. It’s a pay packet that no doubt makes him one the club’s highest earners and writing this sizeable expense out of the wage budget would free up funds to strengthen other areas of a team dangerously short of wide options.
Given how Newcastle no longer need the Dutch international, his mooted move to Ajax is one that certainly favours Benitez’s side.
Contrast this fortuitous situation to City’s.
They’re set to pay a rumoured £17m to sign a 33-year-old keeper who has only recently began to blip on the radars of the elite, though is clearly deemed insufficient by Barcelona, a club who share the Citizens’ lofty ambitions.
It looks a classic short-term fix for the team rated as 8/5 favourites to win the Premier League, but it may prove vital in helping Newcastle gain promotion this season.