Injured Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka will miss the start of the new Premier League season, the club have announced.
The 31-year-old Slovakia international is expected to be sidelined for several weeks by a heel problem. He has played every league game for the club since his arrival on an initial loan from Sparta Prague in January 2018.
As a result, he will also sit out his country’s Nations League fixtures against the Czech Republic and Israel next month.
A statement on the Magpies’ official website said: “Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka will miss the start of the 2020/21 Premier League season after suffering a heel injury.
“The 31-year-old faces several weeks on the sidelines. This means he will also miss Slovakia’s UEFA Nations League fixtures against Czech Republic and Israel next month.
“Dubravka has not missed a Premier League game since his debut in a 1-0 win against Manchester United in February 2018. He won the club’s Player of the Season award for 2019/20.”
The news will come as a huge blow to head coach Steve Bruce. Like predecessor Rafael Benitez, Bruce has come to rely upon the dependable Dubravka.
He will now have to turn to Karl Darlow or summer signing Mark Gillespie. England Under-21 keeper Freddie Woodman has joined Swansea on loan for the season after signing a new contract at St James’ Park.
Aaron Ramsey snubs Newcastle
Aaron Ramsey has reportedly rejected a move to Newcastle after Bruce asked about the Juventus man.
The former Arsenal midfielder has been linked with a return to the Premier League all summer.
The Welshman, 29, has struggled to win a regular starting spot at Serie A champions Juve. The latest reports suggest he will struggle even more following Andrea Pirlo’s arrival at the club.
Ramsey has been touted to Wolves with Juve chasing a swap deal for Raul Jimenez. However, they opted to decline that deal – leaving the door open for Newcastle to make an approach.
Italian transfer expert Nicolo Schira revealed Newcastle had made a bid – with Ramsey turning his nose up at the deal.