Rafa Benitez delivers blow to Leeds United over keeper signing

Jamie Woodhouse

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez says Karl Darlow is not available in January following talk of a move to Leeds United. 

Leeds are currently top the Championship after a run of seven straight league wins, but Marcelo Bielsa’s side are short of depth between the sticks.

Jamal Blackman came to Elland Road on loan from Chelsea in the summer, but a fractured tibia suffered in an Under-23s game with Birmingham City ended his season there and then.

Darlow was a key part of Newcastle’s promotion-winning campaign from the Championship in 2017, and would have provided competition for Leeds’ young Northern Irish goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

According to a report by the Chronicle Live, the Magpies had told Leeds that they would not allow Darlow to depart St James’ Park on loan, but an offer of around £4million may tempt them to sell.

However, speaking at his press conference ahead of their trip to Watford, Benitez claimed that while Irish shot-stopper Rob Elliot is available in January, Darlow is not.

He said: “I know some of our players, the agents are telling us this club is interested or another one, but we are not ready at the moment to sell anyone.

“The only one that now is available in the window is Elliot because the others, at the moment we need them.

“Obviously, we have too many keepers and we have to manage, but Rob is available in the window.”


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