If Karl Darlow’s Newcastle United career is on its last legs right now, it appears that the life support machine could be switched off in January.
The Sun claims that manager Rafael Benitez remains determined to bring a new goalkeeper to Tyneside after the club failed to reinforce a somewhat problem position in the summer transfer window. Real Sociedad’s Geronimo Rulli is reportedly a target, the £15 million-rated Argentine emerging as one of the most talented young shot-stoppers in La Liga over the last three seasons.
Blessed with fine reflexes and excellent in one-on-ones, Rulli has been tipped to make the step up from La Real for some time and a move to Newcastle could give the 24-year-old the exposure he deserves.
If either one makes the move to Tyneside in the summer, they could probably expect to replace the solid if not spectacular Rob Elliot between the sticks.
And this could be the final straw for Darlow – who would likely be pushed down to third choice in the pecking order.
The former Nottingham Forest goalkeeper starred as Newcastle won the Championship title last season but does not appear to have ever truly won over Benitez. After all, it must be remembered that Darlow only cemented his place in the starting XI last October with Matz Sels struggles and Elliot on the sidelines.
When the latter returned from his cruciate ligament injury, however, Darlow was back on the bench. And, according to The Chronicle, would have been sold to North East rivals Middlesbrough in the summer if they had upped their £5 million bid.
If an offer comes in for Darlow in January, and Benitez signs either Rulli or Muslera, expect Newcastle to take it.