Newcastle held talks with a veteran stopper before moving for Loris Karius instead, and why his arrival hasn’t been announced as yet has been revealed.
The Magpies have been plunged into a mini crisis between the sticks. Just two weeks ago Newcastle had four first-team goalkeepers to choose from.
Nick Pope is the undisputed first choice. Martin Dubravka and Karl Darlow provided back-up, while Mark Gillespie is patiently awaiting any opportunities that come his way.
However, Dubravka joined Man Utd via the loan route on transfer deadline day. That exit alone wouldn’t have been an issue, though Darlow then suffered an ankle ligament injury.
Sky Sports reported the injury occurred during training on Wednesday, September 7. Little was known about the severity of the injury at the time, though that has now changed.
The Northern Echo report Darlow is expected to be on the sidelines until at least mid-November. The Premier League breaks off for the World Cup around that time, meaning Eddie Howe has around two months to navigate with his goalkeeping ranks depleted.
That prompted a move for Loris Karius and it’s believed a medical has already been passed. The ex-Liverpool stopper doesn’t hold the best of reputations for his on-field displays in England, though will at least bring experience in his ‘short-term’ deal.
Karius can be signed outside of the window as he is a free agent. However, according to the Northern Echo, a different goalkeeper was under consideration.
Newcastle spoke with Ben Foster
They report ‘preliminary talks’ with 39-year-old Ben Foster took place. Foster is also a free agent following his release from Watford in the summer.
However, Howe ultimately opted to go for Karius, and why his announcement has been delayed has been revealed.
It’s stated the passing of Queen Elizabeth II prompted Newcastle into holding off on announcing Karius’ arrival.
The club reportedly felt it would be inappropriate to announce a new signing on a weekend when the nation’s focus was understandably elsewhere.
Karius return unexpected
The German, now 29, has never been the same since his infamous Champions League final gaffes in 2018.
Jurgen Klopp was understood to be willing to give his countryman another chance. However, another poor error in the pre-season that followed prompted the Reds to break the bank for Alisson Becker.
Karius spent two seasons in Turkey while on loan at Besiktas. His form there showed signs of improvement, though costly blunders continued to blight his career.
He returned to German upon joining Union Berlin on loan in the 2020-21 campaign. When his Liverpool contract expired in the summer, few would’ve expected to see Karius back in England.
However, Darlow’s untimely injury has forced Newcastle’s hand and unless Pope is bitten by the injury bug too, Karius will only warm the bench.
They do have Mark Gillespie on the books, though he is yet to make his Premier League debut and it would be a big ask to replace Pope if he were to get injured.