Newcastle United have been handed a huge transfer boost as Albanian goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha is likely to sign for the Magpies next year.

According to Fichajes, Newcastle United have received a significant transfer boost in their pursuit of Lazio goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha, who is keen on joining the Magpies. Newcastle have been strongly linked with a move to land Strakosha but are now looking to fasten the process by tabling a cheeky transfer bid in January.

The Albanian shot-stopper enters the final six months of his existing deal at Lazio, and the Roman club has refused to hand him a new deal to stay at Stadio Olimpico. A host of clubs have turned their attention to his contractual situation, leading to speculation that he could be made available for a cut-price transfer fee in January.

Newcastle United currently find themselves in a perilous position in the Premier League, sitting bottom of the standings; relegation is now a real possibility. Eddie Howe & co. have an incredibly difficult task in hand and need quick results. Meanwhile, in the background, the Newcastle hierarchy have already started scouring the market for major reinforcements to boost their chances of survival.

The new owners are working to identify the positions to strengthen on the pitch, and one of the areas that recently emerged as a weak link is the goalkeeping department. Newcastle have been touted to make moves for Barcelona superstar Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Manchester United’s Dean Henderson; while the former seems unlikely to join the Magpies in their current predicament, the latter is a realistic target and is unable to get a game at Old Trafford.

Another achievable target struggling for regular playing time is Lazio shot-stopper Thomas Strakosha. The 26-year-old is yet to feature in Serie A this season and has been reduced to only four Europa League appearances playing as a back-up to veteran goalkeeper Pepe Reina in the last couple of seasons.

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As Newcastle already have Karl Darlow, Martin Dubravka and Freddie Woodman in their squad, adding another keeper should not be a priority for now. But the need for another goalkeeper has become apparent in recent games, with Darlow making high-profile errors and looking shaky between the sticks.

While Martin Dubravka is a reliable pair of hands and has performed admirably when Newcastle were under the cosh floundering around relegation in recent seasons, the Slovak’s injury problems means the Magpies have conceded more goals than expected in the games he missed. And with Dubravka returning after an extended spell on the sidelines, Newcastle may require a quality alternative available at their disposal.

Signing someone of Strakosha’s pedigree could be the answer to the Magpies’ problem. The 26-year-old boasts quick reflexes, which allows him to make some tremendous saves. His 6’4″ frame makes him a colossus presence in the box. The 16-time capped Albanian international also has leadership skills and is very vocal, which helps maintain the defensive line.

He is comfortable on the ball and has good distribution suiting Eddie Howe’s philosophy of playing out from the back. Strakosha would be an upgrade over the likes of Darlow and Woodman. What remains to be seen is whether Strakosha will arrive at Newcastle at the turn of the year.

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