By Russell Edge

10th Jan, 2018 | 8:48am

Report: Newcastle hope for imminent international loan swoop as top target makes key decision

Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez is hopeful of an imminent loan deal as he turned his attentions to Sparta Prague goalkeeper Martin Dubravka after missing out on top target Kevin Trapp, according to a report.
The Daily Mail claim on their website that the Spanish boss has set his eyes on securing a quick capture for the 28-year-old Slovakian international, with hopes over a deal potentially being completed by the weekend.
It is said that Newcastle have been forced to switch targets from PSG’s shot stopper Trapp after the German made the key decision to remain with the French giants rather than move out on loan.
Benitez is said to be seeking a new number one to take over the goalkeeping role at St James’ Park, having switched between Rob Elliot and Karl Darlow this season, and eight-cap Dubravka is reportedly his new top target.
He has made 15 appearances across all competitions for Sparta Prague this season, and is contracted at the club until 2020.
Football Insider verdict
Newcastle are known to be in the hunt for a new goalkeeper and links with Trapp hinted at an impressive level of ambition from the club. However, Dubravka seems like a step down from the PSG man, and certainly will not be filling the fans with much confidence. He may be an international but he has only picked up eight caps since making his debut back 2014, so it remains to be seen whether he can be consistent at the top level. Is he any better than Rob Elliot or Karl Darlow? A difficult question, but considering the Newcastle duo have proven themselves to be worthy keepers in the Premier League, Benitez might be better off having faith in his current options, rather than taking the risk. It did not work with Matz Sels, so there is every chance Dubravka could go the same way.
In other Newcastle United news, the club must replace their pass master with a former Toon Army hero available for a bargain.

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