Newcastle have agreed to a deal with Burnley to sign Nick Pope, with the England international set to undergo his medical on Thursday.
Pope will challenge Martin Dubravka for the No 1 jersey at St James’ Park.
Sky SportsNews reported last week that Newcastle boss Eddie Howe was interested in the 30-year-old, who is keen to remain in the Premier League after Burnley’s relegation to the Championship.
Pope is keen to ensure he remains in Gareth Southgate’s England plans ahead of the World Cup in Qatar this winter.
The former Charlton ‘keeper, who was named in the most recent England squad, would be viewed as an excellent addition to Newcastle’s goalkeeping ranks.
Talks are also continuing for Sven Botman and Hugo Ekitike, though Newcastle are prepared to move onto other targets if progress is not made with either player soon.
Analysis: Why Toon are putting their faith in Pope
Sky Sports football journalist Ben Grounds:
“Newcastle have been shrewd operators in the summer transfer window thus far, with Pope’s arrival set to be the first new face on Tyneside after Matt Targett’s loan move from Aston Villa was made permanent.
“The position of goalkeeper wasn’t the most obvious area in need of an upgrade by the end of last season. Dubravka had been performing admirably in helping the club ease away from any relegation danger, keeping eight clean sheets and conceding just 35 goals in the 26 games he played in total.
“But Pope has demonstrated over several years just what a fine shot-stopper he is, memorably producing saves in away draws against West Ham and Aston Villa as Burnley’s quest for survival fell just short. It contributed to a superior save percentage for Pope compared to Dubravka.
“The Slovakia international is three years Pope’s senior, but at 33 he is still at a good age with plenty of experience to compete for the No 1 position.
“His superior passing accuracy would be missed if Newcastle are keen to shift towards a more possession-based approach, so Pope will need to show he is more comfortable on the ball, with a range of both short and long passing.
“It is big news for Eddie Howe and for Pope, who has a big few months ahead with the World Cup coming up in November. Playing regularly in the Premier League is a must, and so the move will have come with a degree of guarantee provided he can replicate the same form he showed towards the latter part of the season at Turf Moor.
“He has Jordan Pickford and Aaron Ramsdale in front of him at England but he’ll be looking to dislodge the No 2 position for his country.”
What should Newcastle do this summer?
Sky Sports’ Laura Hunter:
Not the “revolution people expect”, according to Eddie Howe. Hardly a glowing review of Newcastle’s prospective transfer policy this summer, however pragmatic.
Financial Fair Play (FFP) will prohibit Newcastle from lavishly splurging in the upcoming window, despite now being one of the richest clubs in world football. They spent in excess of £90m in January alone.
It’s clear that a goalkeeper is top of the wishlist. There is also some dispute over attacking options, with Chris Wood yet to find his scoring boots and Callum Wilson finding both form and fitness hard to come by.
Rebuilding the squad over time and developing existing talent, as well as a couple of astute additions, should provide Newcastle with enough leverage to compete at the right end of the table. Certainly nothing less than top half would be proportionate to the expenditure next season. Howe’s emphasis on “smart moves” over a reckless spending spree should serve the club well in the long term, though.
Newcastle Q&A: Who are Toon’s other targets this summer
On Sky Sports’ Transfer Talk Podcast, Peter Graves gives insight into who could be coming into Newcastle, how much they are prepared to spend and who could leave St James’ Park in their biggest window ever.
“There’s Hugo Ekitike and Sven Botman who are two top-quality players in France, they are the two players who are closest to getting through the door.
“Newcastle have been linked with Lucas Paqueta from Lyon who is great friends with Bruno Guimaraes. The midfielder came over and spent his birthday with Bruno and was even photographed wearing a Newcastle shirt in Bruno’s garden! That got Newcastle fans excited, he’s a starting international for Brazil. Whether they would make a move for him, I’m not sure. I think for Lyon, the price would have to be right. Other top clubs are interested in Paqueta as well.
“I think Newcastle want a goalkeeper as well with someone who could compete with Martin Dubravka for the number one spot. They definitely want to add in key positions. Right wing is another player they want to bring in, the likes of Moussa Diaby at Bayer Leverkusen and Ismalia Sarr at Watford They would love to sign Diaby but they have been quoted a fee in the region of £60m, from what I’ve heard, which at this stage would be a little out of their price range.
“I think they will add a right winger, one, maybe two, strikers, a central midfielder, a central defender and a goalkeeper – so they want to strengthen all the way through the spine.”