The Martin Dubravka question
The future of Martin Dubravka looks like an open goal for Newcastle United.
The goalkeeper has said he is keen to stay and Newcastle have a set price of £4m that they can buy him for.
What could possibly go wrong?
His form has been outstanding on loan, making his debut against Manchester United only 12 days after arriving and never looking back.
His 12 games saw wins over Chelsea, Arsenal and Man Utd, with Newcastle picking up 19 points. That compares to only 25 points from the 26 matches before he took over in goal.
The keeper conceding 11 goals in the 12 games, compared to 36 in the opening 26 matches.
The future of Rafa Benitez was always going to be the big question this summer, whether or not he will sign an extended contract, or at the very least see out the last year of his current deal.
Retaining Martin Dubravka though, looked like just an open door to be pushed through.
However, with each passing day and no news of a deal agreed with the player and the buyout price activated, your natural instinct as a Newcastle fan is to start to worry.
Signing Kenedy on a permanent deal was always going to be a tougher one but the thought of not signing either Dubravka or the Brazilian, would be crushing.
Last summer, Christian Atsu’s permanent move was announced on 24 May 2017 after a similar loan to buy arrangement as the Slovakian goalkeeper.
If Dubravka could be announced this week, it would give everybody a lift and reassurance that things could move in the right direction this summer.
Yes, a price of £4m is already agreed but Newcastle still have to convince Martin Dubravka to sign.
Martin Dubravka owes us nothing and turns 30 in January. Having only ever played in the Slovakian, Danish and Czech Republic leagues, what if another ambitious club came in and offered him the possibility of trophies and/or European football?
Newcastle have to convince Dubravka of their ambition moving forward and Rafa Benitez is surely central to that.
Martin Dubravka was asked at the end of the season whether he would like to stay on and talked positively, though it would have been a surprise to hear anything different, whatever he really intends to do..
If Rafa Benitez had already committed his own future with an extended contract then I don’t think anybody would have any doubts about Martin Dubravka staying, as Rafa signing would signal he believed the club were going to show ambition.
As it stands, Newcastle are currently two down on the key quality group of players who impressed in those final three months of the season, Dubravka signing would tick one of those boxes.
“I would like to of course.
“Newcastle is a huge club with a great history, amazing fans and quality players.
“We will see what’s going to happen.
“When I arrived in Newcastle I didn’t know what to expect…
“I was sitting on the bench, watching the tempo and intensity, I was trying to adapt as soon as possible.
“After the Manchester United game everything went so fast.
“I’m happy that we stayed in the league and next season hopefully we can bring the same attitude and level.
“I really hope that next season we will show that we are stronger.”
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