Newcastle United’s swoop for goalkeeper Matz Sels has thrown Tim Krul’s future into more doubt.
The Magpies yesterday moved to sign Gent shot-stopper Sels in a surprise first piece of summer transfer business.
The 24-year-old had been linked with Leicester City, Southampton and Middlesbrough, but Rafa Benitez persuaded Sels that he could further his career at Newcastle despite relegation to the Championship.
The deal will cost Newcastle around £4.5million, and shows Benitez’s desire to build a squad strong enough in depth to return to the Premier League at the first attempt.
It looks set to signal the end of Krul’s 10-year Newcastle career, however. The Tynesiders’ longest-serving player is unlikely to be fit for the start of the season, as he battles back from a cruciate knee injury sustained back in November.
Krul has just a year left on his contract, and the Magpies were prepared to offer him a new deal, but the arrival of Sels means they are well stocked in the goalkeeping department.
Sels will challenge Karl Darlow for the No 1 jersey, with youngster Freddie Woodman likely to be allowed out on loan again. Newcastle also have Rob Elliot, with the Republic of Ireland cap hoping to return from his own knee injury in October.
That leaves Krul as the most likely to depart, and the 28-year-old has already been linked with Everton and Crystal Palace.
Sels, meanwhile, arrives on Tyneside on the back of a successful campaign, keeping 18 clean sheets for Gent last season, after helping them to the Belgian title the year before.
The 6ft 2in keeper will sign a five-year deal today after passing his medical.
l Leeds United boss Garry Monk is delighted with his first signing, after landing striker Marcus Antonsson – who notched 22 goals in 40 league games for Swedish club Kalmar last season – on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee.
Monk said of the 25-year-old: “He scores goals, has great movement and he has the mentality to be able to adapt to this league.”