Fabrizio Romano has explained why a transfer to Newcastle United would be perfect for former Manchester United star David de Gea, though Eddie Howe has hinted at an alternative goalkeeping solution for his team.
Newcastle have been rocked by an injury to first-choice keeper Nick Pope. The Englishman had to be substituted in the 86th minute during the 1-0 win over Man Utd on Saturday after dislocating his shoulder. Martin Dubravka replaced him and helped to see out the clean sheet as Newcastle piled more misery on Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag.
Pope has been fantastic for Newcastle since joining from Burnley in July 2022, having kept 26 clean sheets in 62 games. That includes eight clean sheets in 20 matches this term, helping Newcastle battle for another top-four finish, put up a good account of themselves in the Champions League and advance in the League Cup.
Ahead of Newcastle’s trip to Everton on Thursday night, Howe was asked to provide an update on Pope. He replied (via The Chronicle): “He’s had a couple of appointments to see specialists. I am awaiting final news on what will happen.
“He will be operated on. It will be about four months. We were fearing the worst. He’s been in the best form since he has been at the football club.
“He is naturally down. Nick had the Euros ahead of him and there is still a chance for him. His main determination is to come back with us.”
At the start of the week, it emerged that Newcastle could make a stunning move for De Gea, who is a free agent after Erik ten Hag urged Man Utd against handing him a new contract at the end of last season.
De Gea is seemingly ready to take over from Pope at St James’ Park, but Howe is not joining in on the speculation just yet. He added: “I’ve seen a lot of media headlines regarding goalkeepers and other players. We have not made any enquiries.
Eddie Howe, Fabrizio Romano both discuss David de Gea
“If we were to recruit now we’d be recruiting in every area on the pitch. It’s a chance for the other keepers to consolidate their positions.”
It seems Dubravka is ahead of fellow keeper Loris Karius in the Newcastle pecking order, with the Slovakian set to play until at least January. “We really believe in Martin,” Howe said of the 34-year-old, who coincidentally spent time as De Gea’s backup while on loan at Man Utd last season. “Martin is a high class goalkeeper, very good with his feet and distribution.”
Despite Howe refusing to discuss a potential keeper signing, Romano has labelled De Gea joining Newcastle as ‘absolutely perfect’.
“At the moment I still don’t have any confirmation on Newcastle’s plans with David de Gea, despite a lot of speculation,” he said in an interview with CaughtOffside.
“For sure, De Gea is a big opportunity, and he is waiting for this kind of opportunity, because [he] had some possibilities in Saudi at the end of August, beginning of September, and he always wanted to wait for European opportunities.
“Newcastle would be absolutely perfect, so I’m sure that he would be keen on that kind of opportunity.”
Man Utd will be left embarrassed if De Gea ends up moving to Newcastle and begins to shine there. The Spaniard could even play an important role in the Magpies beating Man Utd to a Champions League qualification spot.