NEWCASTLE UNITED are increasingly confident of being able to sign Nick Pope this summer, with the Burnley goalkeeper ready to push for a departure from Turf Moor.

Magpies head coach Eddie Howe is keen to recruit a new shot-stopper this summer, with Karl Darlow and Freddie Woodman both expected to leave St James’ Park.

Howe considered a move for Manchester United’s Dean Henderson, but with the Cumbrian poised to join Nottingham Forest on a season-long loan with a view to a £20m permanent move next summer, Newcastle’s recruitment team have switched their attention to Pope.

The 30-year-old has one year left on his current deal at Turf Moor, with the Clarets understood to have an option to extend the deal by another 12 months.

However, in the wake of Burnley’s relegation to the Championship last season, Pope is eager to secure a return to the top-flight to give himself the best possible chance of retaining his place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for this winter’s World Cup in Qatar.

Having been second-choice behind Jordan Pickford for much of Southgate’s reign, Pope has slipped behind Aaron Ramsdale in the pecking order and is now third-choice for his country.

Despite being named in the squad, he did not play a single minute of England’s four matches in the Nations League this month, which makes him vulnerable to being axed from the World Cup group entirely if he finds himself playing in the second tier next season.

Pope and his representatives are aware of Newcastle’s interest, and are set to hold urgent face-to-face talks with newly-appointed Burnley boss Vincent Kompany in the next week.

Kompany was confirmed as the Clarets’ new manager at the start of this week, and while he is understandably keen to retain the core of his current squad as he looks to guide his new employers back to the Premier League at the first attempt next season, he accepts the need to sell some players in order to mitigate the financial impact of relegation.

James Tarkowski and Ben Mee are moving on as free agents, but Burnley will need to raise additional funds, with Pope regarded as one of their most saleable assets.

The Newcastle hierarchy are likely to wait until Pope has held talks with Kompany before making their move, but Howe would ideally like to have a new goalkeeper in place when his first-team squad reconvene for the start of pre-season training at the start of next month.

Martin Dubravka finished last season as Newcastle’s established number one, but Howe wants the Slovakian to have genuine competition this summer and is keen to head into pre-season with the goalkeeping spot up for grabs.

The Magpies manager has experienced a frustrating few days in the transfer market, with discussions over Sven Botman and Hugo Ekitike continuing to stall.

Newcastle have agreed the outline terms of a €30m deal for Botman with Lille, but with AC Milan also involved in discussions, the Dutch centre-half has headed off for a post-international window holiday with his future still up in the air.

The Magpies continue to hold talks with Reims over Ekitike, but as things stand, there has been no final agreement with the French teenager, who previously turned down a potential move to St James’ Park in January.