NEWCASTLE: Newcastle United have beaten several Premier League rivals to secure the signature of England international goalkeeper Nick Pope.
The 30-year-old has penned a four-year deal, and arrives at St James’ Park for a fee in the region of $14.7 million from recently relegated Burnley.
Pope becomes head coach Eddie Howe’s second senior signing of the season with Matt Targett already brought through the door on a permanent deal.
Newcastle turned their attention to Pope when it became clear the cost for Manchester United’s Dean Henderson would prove prohibitive.
And Howe admits he’s over the moon to bring in Pope, who will provide competition for current number-one Martin Dubravka.
Howe said: “Nick is an exceptional Premier League and international level goalkeeper, so I’m very pleased to be adding strong competition to a very important position.
“There has been a lot of interest in him from other clubs this summer, so I’d like to thank our owners and everyone behind the scenes for getting us ahead of the competition.
“I’m delighted he is joining us as we prepare for the exciting challenge ahead.”
Pope has played eight times for England, making history last year as the first goalkeeper to keep clean sheets in his first six games for the Three Lions.
He has spent the past six seasons at Turf Moor, and has twice won Burnley’s player of the year award, as well as being named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year in 2019/20.
The former Charlton Athletic and Ipswich Town keeper added: “Now I’m here, I can’t wait to get started. The deal has taken a couple of weeks to come to fruition, but it got over the line really quickly. And I’m delighted to be here and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into it.”
Meanwhile, the arrival of Pope has seen United undergo a bit of a goalkeeping department revamp with one gone and one on the way out.
Earlier this week the Magpies allowed former England under-21 international Freddie Woodman to depart.
The 25-year-old, once touted as the next big thing, failed to establish himself as a first-team player at United, despite starting last season as the club’s number one.
Woodman has signed for Preston North End for an undisclosed fee, ending a nine-year association with the Magpies.
On signing for the Championship outfit, Woodman said: “I’m absolutely delighted. It’s been a while trying to get this over the line, but I’m delighted to be here and I feel very honored to be joining such a fantastic football club, and a football club that’s going in the right direction.”
The next player who could well depart is Karl Darlow.
The former United first choice now finds himself third in the pecking order at St James’ Park following the arrival of Pope, having failed to dislodge Dubravka for the shirt under Howe.
Second tier Middlesbrough are showing an interest in signing former Nottingham Forest keeper Darlow, but his wages may prove a stumbling block to any permanent deal.