By Harvey Byrne

Newcastle’s north-east rivals Middlesbrough are plotting a shock move for goalkeeper Tim Krul, according to a report.

The Daily Star claims that Boro chiefs were keeping a close eye on the Dutchman before he suffered a knee ligament injury in October which forced him to sit out for the rest of the season.

The 28-year-old has a year left on his current Newcastle contract, but his future at the Tyneside club is uncertain following the club’s relegation to the Championship.

The move is largely considered a shock, as it is unlikely that Newcastle will sell a player that could potentially strengthen their rivals, while the Magpies may also be keen to keep their long-term servant as they look to bounce back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

Rafael Benitez has this week moved to sign Gent goalkeeper Matz Sels for £5million.

As reported on Football Insider, the goalkeeper has had a medical at St James’ Park and it is believed that the club have agreed a long-term deal with the 24-year-old stopper.

Middlesbrough had been linked with Sels themselves, but are now casting their eye over Krul.

The Holland stopper was Newcastle’s first-choice goalkeeper before his injury, but now his place at the club isn’t assured.

Rob Elliott and Karl Darlow are also fighting for the number one position for next season and both goalkeepers already have a vast amount of Championship experience under their belt.

Krul joined the Tyneside club in 2005 from Dutch outfit ADO Den Haag and has represented the Magpies in 181 encounters and the shot-stopper has also represented his country eight times.

In other Newcastle news,  Hatem Ben Arfa will complete a transfer to Sevilla.