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By Danny Wright

Newcastle have been struck with a fresh blow in their pursuit of a goalkeeper as Willy Caballero would prefer a move to Chelsea after receiving offers from both clubs, according to a report.

The Times claims that the the Magpies have also ended their pursuit of Pepe Reina as they deemed Napoli’s valuation of him too high.

It is understood that outgoing Manchester City goalkeeper Caballero will be offered higher wages at St. James’ Park, but he would rather play second fiddle to Thibaut Courtois at Stamford Bridge following Asmir Begovic’s switch to Bournemouth.

According to the Times, Newcastle have decided that Napoli’s £5million asking price of Reina is too much considering he has a year left on his contract, while Caballero would be available for free after being set for release by City.

The Magpies have an over-abundance of goalkeepers currently on the books.

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Karl Darlow, Rob Elliot and Mats Selz were all among first-team football as the Tynesiders earned promotion to the Premier League this year while Tim Krul and Freddie Woodman have returned from loan spells.

Cabellero, 35, was signed by Man City from Malaga in 2014 and has made a total of 48 appearances in all competitions for the two-times Premier League champions.

He played 27 times this season as he stood in for the out-of-form Claudio Bravo, who arrived from Barcelona last summer.

Football Insider Verdict

Rafa Benitez is expected to make big changes to his side over the summer but one area that shouldn’t be prioritised is in goals. The Magpies already have some good ‘keepers in their squad and Krul has already proven himself in the English top-flight. Instead, Benitez needs to be looking at strikers and defenders – those are the two key areas they have to be strong when coming off the back of a promotion. Goalkeepers can win a few points in a season, but without a reliable source of goals up front and a solid wall of defenders at the back, they can kiss goodbye to a chance of a respectable finish come next year. The Magpies should save their goalkeeper pursuit until last.

In other Newcastle news, Mick Quinn has offered his thoughts on this attacker who is reportedly close to a move to St. James’ Park.

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