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Transfer Market

Martin Dubravka now ‘unsettled’ at Newcastle United with 3 Premier League clubs interested – Report

3 years ago

News on Saturday morning that Martin Dubravka is said to be now ‘unsettled’ with life at Newcastle United.

Little surprise that this is the case, both it being reported/claimed and that it will almost certainly be true.

Having made it in one of the top leagues late in his career, Martin Dubravka turns 31 in January and will very definitely be trying to maximise these remaining years of his time as a goalkeeper.

He was always going to be a target this Summer for ambition clubs, since making his Premier League debut for a Newcastle side battling relegation these past two seasons, Martin Dubravka has played 50 PL games in a row, conceding only 59 goals.

Indeed, the past two seasons have seen only two clubs outside the top four concede less goals than NUFC in both 2017/18 and 2018/19.

Four months ago, the keeper’s agents were interviewed (see below) and they said they were expecting both a new more lucrative contract to be agreed with Newcastle to reflect his form, plus offers to come in from top clubs in England and abroad.

They said that a number of top Premier League clubs had already registered an interest, brothers David and Filip Zik saying in the interview back in March:

“Recently, we have recorded interest from even the biggest clubs from the English league, ie clubs for the title and European Cups, and if Martin is going to do everything like now, we believe that there may be a very interesting top club offer for Martin.”

Now on Saturday morning, The Mail are saying that they have been told Martin Dubravka is ‘unsettled’ and that Manchester United Tottenham and Aston Villa are all keen.

The report states that Monaco and Porto are also interested.

Indeed, the only part I find totally unbelievable is when they describe Martin Dubravka as ‘£12m rated’, surely as big a joke as you can imagine when you have seen how much the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool have spent on keeper in recent times.

I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Martin Dubravka did want to leave (along with Fabian Schar and our other decent players), considering the total mess Mike Ashley has created.

However, when The Mail state ‘Ambitious Villa were put off by Stoke’s £25m valuation of Jack Butland and were rebuffed in a bid for Burnley’s Tom Heaton. They have responded by setting their sights on Dubravka to continue their spending spree’, you have to laugh.

I have no doubts as well that Mike Ashley would sell BUT only if the price is right, if Butland is £25m then Ashley would expect that as an absolute minimum.

Indeed, Ayoze Perez turns 26 this month and with Martin Dubravka being a keeper, they probably have roughly the same number of years left at the top, so I would argue that if Perez cost £30m then any bidding should start at that figure for Dubravka.

The reality for me is that only if there is not a big enough bid in Mike Ashley’s eyes, will Martin Dubravka still be here at St James Park.

I have a horrible feeling that even the small group of quality players we will still have when the season kicks off, will be here under protest, Isaac Hayden is still desperate to leave and now reportedly you can Dubravka, then only a matter of time before offers come in for Fabian Schar and others.

Newcastle United looking set to fall apart, when realistic investment and freedom to operate would have seen Rafa Benitez stay and build on the likes of Rondon, Perez, Schar and Dubravka.

The Mag – 15 March 2019:

An interesting interview with the agents representing Martin Dubravka.

Brothers David and Filip Zik are the duo who look after the Newcastle goalkeeper’s interests and negotiated the four year contract he signed last summer.

However, after his continuing success this season, they have approached Newcastle and are in talks to get an improved deal arranged quickly.

After conceding only 11 goals in 12 Premier League matches last season, Martin Dubravka has let in only another 38 goals in 30 PL games so far this season. Only a handful of clubs/goalkeepers have conceded less in that time.

Indicating that last summer’s deal was on a relatively low wage, the agents say a new deal needs to reflect the form shown by Dubravka this season.

The brothers also indicate that interest from other clubs means it is in Newcastle’s interests as well to bring Martin Dubravka more in line with what other top performing Premier League goalkeepers earn.

Obviously agents are always going to be looking to make more money for clients and themselves, with part of their job being to drive interest/talk about the players they represent. However, they are remarkably open in this interview about what the position is with the NUFC keeper and so when they talk about interest from elsewhere, it is more believable than your typical newspaper claims. In this interview with Ruik Football, they also go into detail about other players they represent as well.

As for Martin Dubravka, they say that Juventus are continuing to watch him and that a top Bundesliga club are definitely interested, though both they [agents] and Dubravka want to stay in the Premier League, with Newcastle United or possibly elsewhere.

It would be astonishing if top PL clubs weren’t looking at Dubravka, considering that goal record whilst playing for a team battling relegation during his 42 games so far. His bravery in coming for the goal also sets him apart, Dubravka having taken more high balls in the box than any other PL keeper this season.

The agents say they had had contact from clubs at the top of the Premier League who are competing for the title and in the European cup competitions: ‘If Martin is going to do everything like now, we believe that there may be a very interesting top club offer for Martin.’

It is very balanced what they say because they also point to the fact that whether a player such as Martin Dubravka moves or not, is also dependent on what happens at interested clubs, the agents pointing to what happens with current goalkeepers who are at these top PL clubs as affecting whether bids will come in this summer.

Whether anything happens remains to be seen but certainly I don’t think anybody should feel complacent because the agents are sorting a better contract with Newcastle.

Doing that doesn’t necessarily mean Dubravka won’t be leaving. As they indicate, it is only doing their job getting a better contract in place regardless. Something which would also of course give Newcastle more bargaining power if they did end up selling him, as if a new contract was now agreed, they could insist on adding a year or two to it, in return for higher wages.

Naturally, we would all hope that if Rafa Benitez stays, the likes of Martin Dubravka and others would do the same.

If Ashley forces the manager out, then not many fans would blame our better players if they then left as well. If there is no ambition then why would they stay?

In Dubravka’s case it is particularly relevant, after playing in lesser leagues in Denmark, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, he has made it to the big time relatively late.

Even though as a goalkeeper he could play a few more years at the top compared to outfield players, he will turn 31 in January and probably has these next five years or so as his chance to achieve whatever.

Here’s hoping that it is at Newcastle, with Rafa Benitez.

David and Filip Zik talking to Ruik Football:

‘Juventus are said to be interested in Martin Dubravka, Newcastle’s goalkeeper. Is this information true?’

“We can confirm that Martin is on the Juventus Scouting Department’s list of long-term player targets. However, we must mention that he is not only monitored Juventus, but there are also Premier League clubs.

“Our personal tip [for Dubravka] with my brother is that Martin stays in England. Our effort, but also Newcastle’s endeavor, is to negotiate a new contract at the end of this season, as Martin came to Newcastle as a virtually unknown Czech league player, but quickly deservedly became a major player of the entire team and already has an excellent reputation throughout the English league .

“So we are gradually starting to negotiate an improved contract, but of course, on the other hand, we record interest from a number of other clubs in the English league, where it is also bound by events at the goal post in the club, whether to replace their existing one, etc. Martin Dubravka is in agreement that our goal is to prove as much as possible in England.

“Even though Martin’s interest from one of the top German Bundesliga clubs has been eminent over time, Martin has told us that he does not feel that his career is going to move towards Germany, that he would like to continue in England, which is the cradle of football and in which goalkeepers already historically privileged.

“Recently, we have recorded interest from even the biggest clubs from the English league, ie clubs for the title and European Cups, and if Martin is going to do everything like now, we believe that there may be a very interesting top club offer for Martin.”


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