By Wayne Veysey

10th Sep, 2020 | 10:03am

Exclusive: Newcastle star opens new deal talks after Bruce blocks exit & hands him starting spot

Newcastle United have opened talks with Karl Darlow over a new contract after telling suitors he is not for sale, Football Insider can reveal.

Darlow has entered the final year of his contract on Tyneside and has had interest from the likes of Leeds United in the past.

A Newcastle source has told Football Insider that the club are working to keep hold of Darlow, 29, and are offering him a new deal to keep him long-term.

This comes as Steve Bruce prepares to give Darlow an extended run in the starting XI, beginning with Saturday’s Premier League opener against West Ham.

Established number one Martin Dubravka will miss the start of the season with a heel injury sustained in training.

This has opened the door for Darlow to revive his Newcastle career.

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He has not made a top-flight appearance since February 2018 and has had to be content with a second-string role under both Bruce and ex-boss Rafael Benitez.

However, the former Nottingham Forest man featured in all but one of the Magpies’ Premier League matchday squads as an unused substitute last season.

He is now set to start the 2020/21 season between the sticks, with summer signing Mark Gillespie to take his place on the bench.

That is a blow to Darlow’s suitors, who have been told he is not for sale.

As revealed by Football Insider earlier this month, Birmingham City had a move knocked back for the former Nottingham Forest shot-stopper.

Darlow has played a total of 65 times for Newcastle since he joined in a double deal involving Jamaal Lascelles that was worth in the region of £7million.

In other news, Alex McLeish has revealed he’s spoken to Newcastle United ‘warrior’ desperate to quit the club.