We had reported earlier today that Newcastle had been linked with 24 year-old Belgium U21 goalkeeper Matz Sels, who plays at Gent and he was reported in the Belgium press as on his way to the north-east to sign either for Newcastle United or Middlesbrough.
Since then things have really been moving fast and in fact Matt is now in Newcastle taking his medical with the agreed fee said to be around €6M which is around £5M now with the weaker pound since the Brexit result.
We had wondered why Rafa would sign another goalkeeper – unless Tim Krul was leaving.
Matz Sels – first summer signing
It looks like Tim may be on his way to Everton as a replacement for the departed Tim Howard and he could be joining new Dutch manager Ronald Koeman there.
The news in Belgium is that Tim has refused to sign a new contract at the club he has been at for 11 years and that may have forced Benitez’ hand.
Southampton, Middlesbrough and Champions Leicester are other clubs said to have been keen on signings Matz, but it looks like Rafa won out against all three Premier League clubs.
Nothing official about Tim’s future yet and he is still recovering from a serious ACL injury.
The other shoe about to fall is almost certain to be Tim’s transfer to Everton.
Certainly Newcastle should have no goalkeeper problems for the forseeable future.
So Rafa has sprung a bit of a surprise, but even if Tim leaves we have three good experienced goalkeepers fighting it out for the number one goalkeeper position in Matz Sels, Karl Darlow and Rob Elliot when he’s fit again.
That will allow Freddie Woodman to go out on a season long loan deal and get the first team games he desperately needs to continue his development.
Freddie is an excellent young goalkeeper prospect at Newcastle.