According to The Athletic, Newcastle were ‘very close’ to sealing the signing of Motherwell goalkeeper Mark Gillespie before COVID-19 stopped play and a potential Saudi takeover emerged.
Chris Waugh claims the 28-year-old held ‘extensive discussions’ with the club and was all set to sign a pre-contract agreement which would’ve seen him arrive on a free transfer this summer once his contract with the SPL side expired.
Gillespie – a local lad and graduate of Newcastle’s academy – has seen his ‘dream’ move be put on hold, however, with it not yet known whether the Amanda Staveley-led consortium would sanction a free agent move for a player the current regime looked set to sign.
Here’s a brilliant picture of him playing alongside ‘good friend’ Paul Dummett during their time together at Newcastle Academy’s U-9’s:
The Athletic claim he was targeted by Steve Bruce as an ‘ideal back-up goalkeeper’ to replace Rob Elliot, who looks set to depart in a few months once his contract expires.
The report also states that another goalkeeper is wanted due to Karl Darlow’s future remaining up in the air, while Freddie Woodman is expected go out loan again next season – whenever that comes around!
A gutting stroke of luck for Gillespie, who was about to seal a dream move to St James’ Park, however he’s just one of many whose is suddenly on hold as a result of both COVID-19 and the potential Saudi-backed takeover.