NEWCASTLE UNITED have turned their attention to James Trafford as they look to strengthen their goalkeeping options this summer.

The Magpies’ recruitment team have made goalkeeper a priority position with Loris Karius having been released and major question marks over the future of Martin Dubravka, who will enter the final year of his current contract on Tyneside later this month.

Newcastle officials have held talks with Valencia over Giorgo Mamardashvili, but have been put off by the La Liga club’s valuation of the Georgia international.

Valencia are adamant they will not accept less than £35m for Mamardashvili, who is also interesting Chelsea, and the Magpies hierarchy fear that price could rise even higher if the 23-year-old impresses with Georgia during the forthcoming Euros.

Newcastle rate Mamardashvili extremely highly, but given that Nick Pope will continue to challenge for the number spot at St James’ Park next season, they do not want to commit £35m or more to a goalkeeper who could find himself as the number two next term.

Trafford is regarded as a viable alternative who will almost certainly be available for a much lower price than both Mamardashvili and Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale, who has also been considered.

Trafford is currently part of the England squad that is preparing for tomorrow’s final pre-Euros warm-up game against Iceland, but is expected to fail to make the cut for Gareth Southgate’s final 26-man squad for this month’s tournament in Germany.


A product of the Manchester City academy, who did not concede a single goal during the entire tournament as England Under-21s claimed European glory last summer, the 21-year-old joined Burnley for around £15m just less than a year ago.

He started 28 of Burnley’s matches as they were relegated from the Premier League last season, and while his efforts were unable to keep the Clarets in the top-flight, it was generally felt that he performed reasonably well in front of a leaky defence.

While Burnley’s owners are adamant there will not be a firesale in the wake of relegation, there is an acceptance that some players will have to move on ahead of a campaign in the Championship.

Trafford is one of the players thought likely to leave, and Newcastle officials are understood to have held preliminary talks to flag up their interest in the Cumbrian shot-stopper.

Burnley are in a state of flux, with former Newcastle forward Craig Bellamy in interim charge following Vincent Kompany’s departure to Bayern Munich, and the Magpies are hoping to take advantage of the current uncertainty to engineer a deal.

If Trafford arrives on Tyneside, he will be given the opportunity to compete with Pope for the number one spot during pre-season. Pope turned 32 in April, and while he retains the full support of Eddie Howe, Newcastle want to have a goalkeeping succession plan in place.

The Magpies have already completed one piece of summer transfer business, turning Lewis Hall’s loan move from Chelsea into a permanent transfer. Hall, who started the final five games of the season at left-back, has joined Newcastle in a deal that could eventually be worth £35m.

Lloyd Kelly will be confirmed as the Magpies’ second summer arrival when the transfer window officially reopens later this month, with the centre-half having agreed a deal that will see him move to Tyneside as a free agent once his departure from Bournemouth is completed.

Kelly rejected a series of contract offers at the Vitality Stadium, with the centre-half set to be reunited with Howe, who signed him for Bournemouth from Bristol City.

Newcastle are conducting their summer business without Dan Ashworth, who remains on gardening leave after expressing a desire to join Manchester United. While there has been speculation in the last couple of weeks suggesting Ashworth is edging closer to a move to Old Trafford, sources claim the situation remains unchanged with no new talks having taken place between Newcastle’s ownership group and Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s team at Manchester United.