According to various reports over the weekend, Newcastle are eyeing a summer move for Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope after his impressive first season in the Premier League with Sean Dyche’s overachieving side.
Pope has made 27 appearances so far this campaign following a long-term injury picked up by number one goalkeeper Tom Heaton.
He’s shone in goal for the leagues 7th place side, picking up 9 clean sheets so far this term, however England international and club captain Tom Heaton will expect to take back his number one jersey when he returns to full fitness – meaning one may have to leave this summer.
One strange element of this story is that we have a £3.5m option to sign Slovakian international Martin Dubravka at the end of the season, making us think if A) would Pope even be needed if Dubravka continued to impress and/or B) are we actually after a few goalkeepers?
Darlow and Elliot’s future could potentially lie elsewhere ahead of a possible overhaul of the goalkeeping department in the summer.
We shall see, but here’s here’s what TEAMtalk had to say about the situation, stating Rafa Benitez is an admirer of 25-year-old stopper, Pope:
“Heaton, 31, was in the England squad and captain of Burnley before a dislocated shoulder put him out last September, so he will expect a quick return to the side.
“But Pope, 25, has been so good that he has attracted the interest of Toon manager Rafa Benitez — and he could be keen on regular Premier League action if he loses his top spot at Turf Moor.
Burnley do not want to lose either keeper but it will be tough to keep them both happy when the pair are duelling for game time.”
A strange one. A potential back up summer option to Dubravka incase it all goes downhill from here for him despite his impressive debut vs Man Utd?
Here’s Pope in action – the keeper who saved Joselu’s tame penalty in the 1-1 draw with Burnley at St James’ Park recently: