Newcastle are close to signing former Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius after an injury in training to back-up stopper Karl Darlow, reports claim.
The Magpies enjoyed a solid transfer window, with manager Eddie Howe making some big changes between the sticks. Nick Pope arrived from Burnley and has settled in well.
The England international has in fact kept three clean sheets in the Premier League this term.
Former deputy stopper Martin Dubravka consequently secured a move to Manchester United to compete with David de Gea instead.
That has pushed Darlow up the Newcastle pecking order, but he is now out of the running completely.
Indeed, Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie reports that the 31-year-old suffered an ankle injury in training on Wednesday. The journalist does not reveal the extent of the problem. Nevertheless, it is enough to force Newcastle back into the transfer market.
Given that they can only sign free agents following the transfer window’s closure last week, Karius has emerged as a top target.
The 29-year-old is still without a club after running down his Liverpool contract. Downie adds in his report that Karius is ‘already in Newcastle’ ahead of a medical.
It is unclear how long Karius’ stay at St James’ Park will be, but the ‘short-term contract’ will tie them over.
Karius’ rocky road at Liverpool
The German did not play a single competitive game for Liverpool after the 2018 Champions League final. Karius’ two errors gave Los Blancos a helping hand on their way to a 13th title.
Instead, the stopper signed up to a two-year loan at Besiktas, which he eventually cut short. After that, Karius went back to Germany with Union Berlin.
Last summer, Liverpool failed to sell him in the final year of his contract.
What’s more, they could not loan him out again. As such, he trained with the first team but did not make a single outing or make any squads.
Goalkeeper needs fresh start
Karius is unlikely to get many minutes at Newcastle in his short-term deal, with Pope so commanding in the goal.
That is, unless Pope suffers an injury of his own and Karius is immediately called into action.
The big concern is, that if Karius is called upon, he has not played any first-team football – let alone Premier League football – for so long. That he will need time to readjust.
Maybe an appearance in the Carabao Cup or the FA Cup – if his deal stretches to the start of January – would be the best option.
For now, though, he will look to impress Howe in training and reassert his career back in England – if he can.
Of course, it is unclear how long Darlow is out for. The move is nevertheless a wise one, even if there are concerns about how Karius will fare.
There are not many goalkeeper options out there given the transfer window is closed. And Newcastle could ultimately do worse than a player with Bundesliga, Premier League and Champions League experience under his belt.