Newcastle United will ask the Premier League for permission to sign a goalkeeper on a short-term loan – and the Magpies could target Victor Valdes.
Rob Elliot has joined Tim Krul and Karl Darlow on the sidelines.
Elliot aggravated a thigh problem in the goalless weekend draw against Stoke City.
And Steve McClaren doesn’t expect him to be fit for this Saturday’s game against Bournemouth, for which teenager Freddie Woodman has been put on standby.
McClaren “fears the worst” for Elliot, who reportedly also has a shoulder problem.
United’s head coach confirmed after the match that the club would look into the possibility of signing a goalkeeper on an emergency loan.
Former Barcelona player Valdes – who has been frozen out at Manchester United by Louis van Gaal – is the obvious candidate. “We will have to investigate it, because if we fear the worst with Rob and we have only got one keeper (Woodman),” said McClaren.
“We will look at that. It’s a bad situation to be in.”
Woodman was recalled from a loan spell at Crawley Town last month after Krul suffered a season-ending knee injury. And the 18-year-old had been ready to play against Stoke, with Elliot – who missed the second half of last season with a thigh injury – having had a late fitness test.
McClaren said: “Freddie is 18-years-old, and this is a big league. It’s the unknown. He has certainly got ability and talent, and he’s a keeper for the future. We very nearly had to play him.
“We expected Rob to come off at one stage – he was wincing at one point – and I feared the worst. We’ll have to assess it.
“You need a top keeper, which is what I said a few weeks ago after Tim Krul got injured and Jack Butland’s performance (for Stoke) reiterates what I said about goalkeepers. They win you points, and without his performance we would have come away with three points.
“Goalkeepers are very important for you, and Robbie made a very good save at the end, so it is an important position.”
Meanwhile, Valdes, signed as cover for David de Gea last season, has played just two games for Manchester United, and he is now training on his own after being accused of refusing to play for the club’s Under-21s.
Newcastle Under-21’s take on Aston Villa at St James’s Park tonight (7pm).