Middlesbrough were unable to secure an agreement for Newcastle United goalkeeper Karl Darlow because the Magpies are unwilling to sanction a move for him at this stage, according to the Northern Echo.
The 31-year-old spent much of the 2021/22 campaign behind Martin Dubravka in the pecking order as a bench option for Eddie Howe, making just eight league appearances and failing to play a single minute of competitive football for the Tyneside outfit since November.
This is despite the fact he was available for the vast majority of the campaign, leaving Darlow’s future at St James’ Park looking potentially bleak at this point.
Can you remember how much Middlesbrough paid for these 22 summer signings?
He could be offered a potential escape route this summer though with Boro and West Bromwich Albion both reported to have been keen on luring him to the second tier.
The Teesside outfit are arguably the team needing to bring in a shot-stopper the most at this point with Joe Lumley making several mistakes last season – and Luke Daniels was unable to sustain his place in the starting lineup.
However, a deal for Darlow is currently not in the offing because Newcastle want to keep hold of their current second-choice keeper, leaving Chris Wilder’s side with no choice but to focus on other targets.
This is an area Boro need to strengthen as a top priority so it’s heartening to see the number of shot-stoppers linked with the Teesside outfit in recent weeks – because Lumley and Daniels just aren’t going to be vital assets for a promotion-chasing team in the second tier.
Darlow would have been a solid option to bring in and though some would argue this agreement would have been a risk because of the lack of first-team football he has under his belt recently, it may not have taken him much time to get back into the routine of being a regular starter.
Trusted to be a first-team option in the top flight, he would have been a great addition but you can understand why the Magpies wouldn’t want to see the 31-year-old leave without bringing in another option in this area.
This revelation may be less of a blow for the Baggies though considering they already have David Button and Alex Palmer at their disposal, both of whom could step up well following the departure of Sam Johnstone.
But for Boro, it’s time for them to put their pedal to the metal to bring in a first-choice option before the start of pre-season – because their new goalkeeper can only benefit from a full pre-season of football under his belt.