Some raised eyebrows on Tuesday morning after it was revealed that Rafa Benitez’ first Newcastle signing is set to be a goalkeeper.
Matz Sels flying into Newcastle Airport on Tuesday morning to take his medical and complete a move to Newcastle United, with a move out of Tyneside said to be imminent for Tim Krul – the United keeper only having one year left on his contract
Matz Sels is number one at Gent and has been so for the last two season, the 24 year old is fourth choice for his country at the minute and missed out on a place at this summer’s Euros.
Thibaut Courtois is number one with Simon Mignolet and Jean-Francois Gillet as back-up in France, though the latter is expected to retire after the Euros as he is now 37, which should elevate Sels to the national squad as a regular.
Over in Belgum, Het Nieuwsblad have confirmed that a fee was agreed between the two clubs on Monday, with the medical to take place on Tyneside today.
The Belgian newspaper understands the fee to be around 6m euros (£5m at today’s rates…) and that the keeper will sign a five year contract.
The reaction from the Belgian media appears to be one of surprise that Newcastle/Rafa Benitez have managed to convince Matz Sels to come to St James Park despite the relegation.
Leicester, Southampton and Middlesbrough are reported to have also shown interest in the Gent goalkeeper.