Martin Dubravka has admitted that he is “relishing” the chance to work and compete with David de Gea after signing for Manchester United.
United have confirmed the arrival of the Slovakia international on an initial loan deal, but with the option to buy. Following four years at St James’ Park with Newcastle, he has decided to seek a new challenge.
Nick Pope’s arrival on Tyneside – and his subsequent impressive performances – put Dubravka’s future into doubt.
And Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag wanted reinforcements between the sticks after Dean Henderson’s Nottingham Forest loan.
Speaking to his new club’s official website, Dubravka said: “To be joining Manchester United is a special moment in my career and I can’t wait to get started, and help the group achieve its ambitions.
“I am joining an excellent group of goalkeepers with lots of experience in the Premier League, and I know that we will push and support each other to keep our standards at the highest levels.
“The chance to work with David De Gea, alongside Tom Heaton, is one that I am relishing.”
Dubravka, 33, then offered a parting message to Newcastle amid uncertainty if he will return to the North East.
Dubravka in farewell Newcastle message
“I’d like to sincerely thank everyone at Newcastle United, and especially the fans, for many great experiences over the past four and a half years,” the stopper added.
“I enjoyed every minute of my time there and made amazing memories to look back on.
“My focus is now on helping Manchester United, and we’ll see what the future holds after I have given my all this season. I am excited to be here!”
Sky Sports News reports that Dubravka’s option will become obligatory based on his appearances this season.
Man Utd goalkeeping situation faces crucial spell
Dubravka’s arrival is, for now a stop-gap to keep De Gea on his toes and provide competition to the Spaniard.
It remains unclear how many chances he will actually get. England hopeful Henderson left for Forest after claiming “criminal” treatment – over his minutes.
There is of course still belief in some circles at Man Utd that Henderson can become the number-one stopper.
But depending on Dubravka’s minutes, he could yet sign a longer-term deal at Old Trafford.
And with De Gea’s contract situation also looming on the horizon, the next year is a crucial one for United’s goalkeeping situation.