ALAN PARDEW has no regrets about allowing England new-boy Fraser Forster to leave St James’ Park, even if interest in Newcastle United goalkeeper Tim Krul continues to grow.
Krul was at his sensational best to help the Magpies claim a 1-0 win at Tottenham on Sunday. His 14 saves from 21 shots immediately sparked fresh talk of AC Milan plotting a raid for his services.
Milan have been long term admirers of Krul, but have been reluctant to lodge an expensive bid knowing an offer in excess of £12m could be required just to even tempt Newcastle in to selling.
But Pardew is not interested in letting Krul go and admits the Dutchman was the principle reason why he granted Forster permission to head to Celtic permanently when he did in the summer of 2012.
The Hexham-born shot-stopper has gone from strength to strength since heading for Parkhead on loan two years earlier. His performances in the Champions League have propelled him in to Roy Hodgson’s England squad.
Forster could figure ahead of Joe Hart in the up-coming friendlies with Chile and Germany, but Pardew has defended the decision to let him leave for £2m.
“Let’s get one thing straight about Fraser, we didn’t want to lose him,” said Forster. “But Fraser was absolutely adamant that he wanted first-team football and we couldn’t provide him with that.
“Obviously, you can’t play two goalkeepers – that’s a bit tricky – and at the time, we just felt that Tim had the edge. Since then, there’s no doubt that Fraser has progressed at Celtic. I thought it was a great move for him because it’s opened the door to a lot of European football. He’s done terrific in a lot of those games.”
Even when Forster was a teenager on Tyneside he was regarded highly, without ever playing a first team game during his six years as a professional.
However, Pardew felt he had little choice but to move Forster on. He said: “He’s such a big frame in the goal, and that’s probably his biggest asset. He can reach right into the corners of the goal to make fabulous saves when other goalkeepers might struggle to get up there.
“We’re all chuffed for him because we really liked him as a guy. Unfortunately, it was just a case of the timing not really working out. Timing and circumstances in life is what it’s all about, and things have worked out well for him.
“I only had him for a short period, but he was always a confident guy, very assured about his ability. I think he’s a very intelligent boy and that will stand him in good stead if he is selected to play for England at some stage.”
Newcastle are hoping not to be looking for a new No 1 in January, but they will still be exploring options on the attacking front.
It has emerged one of Newcastle’s long-standing targets, Luuk De Jong could be allowed to leave Borussia Monchengladbach.
The German club has not started the Dutch talent in any game since his £12m from Twente in the summer and director Hans Meyer has not ruled out him moving on.
“Coach Lucien Favre has from the beginning had less than 100 per cent confidence in the way De Jong fills the striker position,” said Meyer. “I think we will find a solution. Possibly by Christmas we will loan Luuk but certainly not to a competitor.”