NEWCASTLE UNITED have held preliminary talks over a deal for Valencia goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili, and remain confident of signing both Lloyd Kelly and Tosin Adarabioyo despite having missed out on a place in Europe.

Senior Magpies officials have discussed Mamardashvili’s situation with their counterparts at Valencia, and are lining up a formal offer for the 23-year-old Georgia international.

While Nick Pope has returned to full fitness and will expect to start next season as Newcastle’s number one, Eddie Howe and the rest of the Magpies’ recruitment team are mindful that the shot-stopper turned 32 last month.

Martin Dubravka, who deputised for Pope for a significant chunk of last season, is 35 and about to enter the final year of his current deal on Tyneside, while Loris Karius, who stepped in for February’s defeat to Arsenal, is set to be released as a free agent later this summer.

Howe wants a younger goalkeeper to compete with Pope for the number one spot, with Mamardashvili having been identified as Newcastle’s preferred option.

Having started his career with Dinamo Tbilisi in his homeland, the towering Mamardashvili, who stands at six foot six, joined Valencia in the summer of 2021 on an initial loan deal that became a permanent transfer the following December.

He has made 96 senior appearances for the La Liga side, and was named as Valencia’s Player of the Year last season. A Georgia international with 16 senior caps, Mamardashvili will be between the sticks as his nation make their major tournament debut at the Euros this summer.

Ideally, Newcastle would like to have a deal in the place for the goalkeeper before the start of the Euros next month, with Valencia understood to be valuing Mamardashvili at around €35m.

Newcastle have considered Arsenal reserve Aaron Ramsdale as a potential alternative, but regard Mamardashvili as a better long-term option than the England international, who was selected in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the Euros ahead of Pope.


Magpies officials are keen to make some early headway in the transfer market, and have been working on deals for both Kelly and Adarabioyo in the last couple of weeks.

An agreement with Kelly is understood to be in place, with the centre-half having agreed to move to St James’ Park as a free agent when his current contract with Bournemouth officially expires.

Kelly turned down the option of a new deal at the Vitality Stadium, and has agreed terms with Newcastle ahead of a switch to Tyneside. The centre-half will be reunited with Howe, who signed him from Bristol City when he was Bournemouth boss.

Talks with Adarabioyo are not at such an advanced stage, with Newcastle’s pursuit of the Fulham defender complicated by strong interest from Manchester United.

The Magpies have held talks with Adarabioyo and his representatives, and have done all they can to persuade the defender that his future is best served by a move to the North-East. Like Kelly, Adarabioyo is due to become a free agent next month after turning down the offer of a new deal at Craven Cottage.

However, Manchester United have also held talks with Adarabioyo and are keen to take the 26-year-old to Old Trafford as part of their rebuild under new owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

After Saturday’s FA Cup final victory over Manchester City, Manchester United can offer the lure of a place in next season’s Europa League. Newcastle, on the other hand, will not be playing European football of any description next term after Manchester United’s win at Wembley saw Chelsea claim England’s spot in the UEFA Conference League.

Missing out on European football is a major blow for Newcastle, not least because it will deprive them of around £15m of potential income, but club officials are hoping the lack of European football will not prevent them from landing their leading targets, including Adarabioyo. Further talks are planned for this week, in which Adarabioyo’s final preference should become clear.

Newcastle are keen to sign two new defenders to provide alternative options to Sven Botman and Jamaal Lascelles, both of whom will miss the first few months of next season as they recover from cruciate-ligament damage.

With the Magpies still hampered by the constraints of the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules, recruiting two free agents makes understandable appeal.

Newcastle are planning to make sales this summer, with Callum Wilson’s place within the squad under growing threat. Wilson is due to enter the final year of his current contract this summer, and it is unlikely that the 32-year-old will be offered a new deal.

Miguel Almiron has also been linked with a possible move away from Tyneside, but despite the Paraguayan having been the subject of interest from the Saudi Arabian Pro League in January, his agent, Daniel Campos, insists Newcastle do not want to lose the forward.

“Other Premier League clubs have asked about Miguel, but Newcastle don’t want to sell him,” said Campos. “The Saudi Arabia market is hovering around there. There may be news, but he is comfortable there (at Newcastle).”