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Report: Newcastle are still monitoring 'extraordinary' free agent who nearly joined Fulham

Newcastle United are still monitoring Thomas Strakosha according to the Daily Mirror. The Albanian goalkeeper will become a free agent at the end of the month, with his Lazio contract due to expire.

He’s yet to find a new club, but did almost join Fulham. Chelsea are also reportedly interested..

The 27-year-old boasts ‘extraordinary athelticism’ (Lazio Press) according to former Lazio assistant manager Alberto Bollini. Also, he’s been playing for Abania’s national team since 2017, earning 18 caps so far.

Newcastle have been linked with Strakosha in the past – a couple of months ago they approached Lazio to sign him. This led to the Italian side considering giving him a new deal, but it never came to be.

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Strakosha would improve Newcastle’s goalkeeping options if he joined

With Newcastle monitoring Strakosha this summer, it’s clear they want someone to challenge Martin Dubravka for the number one position.

The Slovakian has established himself as the man in between the sticks for the Toon. But at 33-years-old it’s unclear how long he can be called upon.

At 27-years-old the Albanian has time to break into the team should he sign. Furthermore, if Dubravka gets injured, he’d be great cover.

Karl Darlow and Freddie Woodman could well leave this summer. Should Dubravaka stay as well as Mark Gillespie, the Magpies will need another keeper.

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However, with Chelsea interest into Strakosha, it makes it a challenge for Newcastle. The prospect of Champions League football and opportunties to win trophies next season could lure him to London.

He would definetly be second fiddle for the Blues behind Edouard Mendy. But an opportunity to play for such a big club is an attractive prospect. Chelsea are the current Club World Championship holders and appeared in a number of finals in recent years. That would give them the edge over the Toon.

Newcastle aren’t at that stage quite yet. But they do have the wealth to become an attractive prospect on the same level as Chelsea in the coming years.

Signing the likes of Kieran Trippier and Bruno Guimaraes is a great start. It will take some time but the Magpies can definetly get there.

Nick Pope is another attractive options for the Magpies

Nick Pope is another player the Magpies are interested in. With his Premier League experience and caps for England he’d also boost Newcastle’s goalkeeping options. If anything, that would make him more of an attractive prospect than Strakosha.

Signing players who know what the league is all about is a big advantage. Pope, you could argue, is more likely to pose a bigger challenge to Dubravka’s number one position.

With Burnley being relegated, they’ll need all the money than can get. Additonally, they’re currently in financial trouble following their relegation. With their higher earners, they’ll want to get them off the wage books as soon as possible.

The fee for the 30-year-old could be much less than if they had stayed in the Premier League. For a keeper who has played for England, that’s potentially a fantastic deal.

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One issue, however, is Pope might be cautious to join if he thinks he’ll be second choice to Dubravka. It’s all well and good having competition, but Pope might want a guaranteed starting XI place elsewhere.

Whoever it is, Newcastle need to sign a goalkeeper should Darlow and or Woodman leave. Some fans would be happy with either signing. They both can challenge Dubravka and could be his successor down the line.

Eddie Howe had a selection dilemma in midfield this past season. There’s a chance if the right player is signed, he could have the same challenge in a totally different position. Pope would be the better pick, but Strakosha would also occupy that role very well.

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