Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Newcastle mulling canny free agent move for player who’ll only sign if guaranteed one thing

Lazio goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha

Newcastle are in the mix to sign Lazio goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha on a free, though he’ll only join if guaranteed one thing, per a report.

Following their 1-0 victory over Wolves on Friday night, Newcastle now look destined to beat the drop. Eddie Howe’s side are 10 points clear of Burnley in 18th. The Clarets do have a game in hand, though they’ve won just four league matches all season.

Once their Premier League status is secured, all eyes will be on how the Magpies attack the summer window.

One school of thought had suggested it’d be all guns blazing. However, the Telegraph reported Newcastle’s hierarchy will take a more measured and pragmatic approach.

As such, smart free agent pick-ups for the likes of Lazio stopper Thomas Strakosha might not be out of the question.

The Albania international, 27, will see his contract in Rome expire at season’s end.

Strakosha had lost his place to Pepe Reina for the first four months of the season. Lazio boss Maurizio Sarri favoured the ex-Liverpool keeper, though Strakosha has started every league match since December 5.

Despite returning to the fore, Sport Witness detail what the future could hold for Strakosha – including a potential move to St. James’ Park.

Strakosha preference, main demand detailed

Citing the Italian media, it’s claimed Newcastle and Torino have registered their interest in signing Strakosha.

The stopper would actually prefer to remain at Lazio, though Sarri favours someone who is more skilled with the ball at his feet.

For Strakosha to sign a new deal at Lazio he would reportedly demand a €2m annual salary with a €2m-€3m sign-on bonus.

But his most important demand is that he be guaranteed the starting position – wherever he were to play.

That includes potential suitors Newcastle and Torino, meaning Howe would have to make it clear he’ll be entrusted with the gloves ahead of Martin Dubravka.

Newcastle have drawn links with upgrading their goalkeeping position lately.

Man Utd’s Dean Henderson is another option that’s been mentioned with a move to the north east. However, his contract at Old Trafford runs until 2025, making Strakosha a far more cost-effective option.

For now at least, Strakosha’s future remains up in the air. He could stay at Lazio, move to another Italian club, or try his luck abroad. One thing that is for sure, however, is that he will not accept being the ‘twelfth man’ again.