It took Karl Darlow a while to prove his worth at Newcastle United. In fact, the former Nottingham Forest goalkeeper’s number one status at St James’ Park last season owed much to the misfortune of his teammates.
After all, if Matz Sels had not made so many mistakes in his first few months as a Newcastle player, and if cruciate ligament injuries had not condemned Rob Elliot and Tim Krul to long spells on the sidelines, it is doubtful whether Darlow would ever have been a regular between the sticks.
Darlow only became a regular in October when Sels was dropped
And despite a number of impressive performances as Newcastle won the Championship title last season, it appears that the club still has doubts about his capabilities; so much so that they are willing to sell him to local rivals Middlesbrough.
The report adds that Boro had a £5 million bid rejected last week but the two clubs remain in talks while Darlow, who has been told that he will not be Newcastle’s number one next season, is open to the move.
On paper, the 26-year-old could be a fine addition for Garry Monk’s Middlesbrough. Brad Guzan and Victor Valdes left the club after their relegation in May while Sheffield Wednesday have made clear that Keiren Westwood, subject of a recent £3.5 million bid, is not for sale, as reported by The Star.
For Newcastle, meanwhile, the identity of the club’s next number one is unknown. The Chronicle adds that Pepe Reina’s arrival looks unlikely with a new contract at Napoli a possibility.
Reina and Benitez worked together at Liverpool and Napoli
Therefore, Elliot currently looks like the most likely candidate.