Newcastle consider Benfica keeper raid after learning of €15m fee

Date published: Thursday 30th May 2019 12:12

Newcastle United have been quoted €15million by Portuguese side Benfica after expressing an interest in goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos.

The Germany-born keeper, 25, only signed for his current employers last summer after impressing at Greek club Panathinaikos, but could be allowed to move on for the right price.

He came through the ranks at VfB Stuttgart and made his debut in August 2015 in a Bundesliga match against Eintracht Frankfurt due to a sending off and injury to Przemyslaw Tyton and Mitchell Langerak respectively. He only made a further two appearances before transferring to Panathinaikos.

Vlachodimus was signed with many people believing he would be backup to Bruno Varela, who was already at the club. However, after impressive performances in pre-season, the new signing was given the starting jersey and went on to make 34 appearances in the Primeira Liga, helping the club to the title.

With 15 clean sheets and just 30 goals conceded, interest from around Europe was bound to come in the summer transfer window.

On the European level, Vlachodimus again impressed making it into the UEFA Champions League breakthrough team of 2018 after a series of crucial saves and impressive performances.

Internationally, despite being born in Stuttgart, Germany, Vlachodimus has Greek parents and he has chosen to play for the Euro 2004 winners after playing for Germany at youth level. He currently has two caps after making his debut in November 2018 against Finland.

Newcastle’s interest in a new goalkeeper comes just 12 months after they permanently signed Martin Dubravka after he impressed on loan. The Magpies also currently have the experienced Rob Elliot, as well as Karl Darlow and Freddie Woodman in their ranks. Signing Vlachodimus may mean that some of the current playing staff are moved on, either on loan or on a permanent basis.

It waits to be seen that if Newcastle do go in for the Greece international, will he be an automatic starter or is he being brought in to provide competition for Dubravka.

 

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