Howe confirms Dubravka close to Man Utd switch

·2-min read

Negotiations are taking place for Martin Dubravka to join Manchester United, Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe has confirmed.

Dubravka joined Newcastle from Sparta Prague in January 2018 on an initial loan that was later made permanent, but the goalkeeper has fallen down the pecking order at St James' Park after the arrival of Nick Pope from Burnley before the new season.

Reports suggested the Slovakia international could be on his way to Old Trafford – also on an initial loan – to provide competition for David de Gea.

Howe provided some clarity on the matter at a press conference on Tuesday ahead of his team's trip to face Liverpool, telling reporters: "Discussions have taken place between the clubs. I don't think anything has concluded as I sit here now.

"From my perspective, I'm sad if Martin does leave, sad to see him go. It's not something we necessarily wanted but we understand there's always two sides to every story."

Dubravka has played 130 times for Newcastle in all competitions, keeping 37 clean sheets.

Martin Dubravka
Martin Dubravka

Howe hopes to have new signing Alexander Isak available for Wednesday's clash at Anfield, though remained unsure if his work permit would be granted in time, and also suggested the Sweden striker is likely to be the last arrival of the transfer window, which closes on Thursday.

Newcastle have signed Pope, Isak and Sven Botman since the end of last season, while also making Matt Targett's loan from Aston Villa permanent.

"I don't expect to be [active again in the window] to be honest," Howe said. "We're very pleased with the business we've done.

"The injuries we have we believe to be short-term so there might be a bit of short-term pain around the squad. Longer term, when those bodies are back, we're very strong.

"That's not to say we're totally closed off. We're obviously still looking but I don't expect any major business to be done."