In an exclusive in the Sun today they are reporting that Rafa Benitez wants Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton as his new goalkeeper at Newcastle for next season back in the Premier League.
And with rumors Rafa wanted Sunderland’s 23 year-old Jordan Pickford, who would not come to Newcastle, it does seem that Rafa wants to strengthen the goalkeeper position.
That’s even after Karl Darlow has had a good season in the Newcastle goal this term and Rob Elliot, now fully fit again, was the Player of the Season last term.
Heaton started his career at Manchester United and went out on loan after loan until he joined Cardiff City in 2010 on a permanent deal.
He stayed in south Wales for only two years before joining Bristol City for one year and then joined Burnley in 2013.
Tom has been a late developer but is now showing the form that made him a hot prospect when he was a youngster with the Red Devils and looked a really fine prospect.
Heaton has been outstanding for Burnley this season and is an excellent shot-stopper and has turned into a very good all-around goalkeeper who commands his box well.
He now has two full England caps having played for all the England Youth sides when a youngster.
The Sun are reporting that Crystal Palace are the other Premier League club said to be interested in signing Heaton.
The Chester born player is now 31 years old which is still fairly young for a goalkeeper these days, if they keep themselves in good shape and can go into play until they are 40.
It seems strange that Rafa would invest what seems to be like £15M Burnley will ask for their goalkeeper, before he has taken a good look at 29 year-old Tim Krul in pre-season.
Tim is working hard at AZ Alkmaar and has now played 16 games for the Dutch club he tries to regain his top form before pre-season starts on July 3rd.
Krul could still prove to be the best goalkeeper we have and he has vast experience in the Premier League.
But it’s looking like Rafa may now sell Tim to generate funds this summer and Karl Darlow and Rob Elliot will presumably be the other goalkeepers.
We expect 20 year-old England U21 International Freddie Woodman and 25 year-old new boy Matz Sels to be loaned out to Championship clubs this season.
Matz may even be sold if there is interest in his home country Belgium for him as Rafa will have a massive clear-out of those players who are now surplus to requirements as standards will be significantly raised for next seoans.
What do you think?