Reports suggest Middlesbrough have £5 million bid for Newcastle United keeper Karl Darlow rejected

Middlesbrough have had an opening offer of £5 million for Newcastle United keeper Karl Darlow rejected, according to various reports.

Sky Sports, The Guardian and The Sun have all reported that Boro have made an official bid for the English keeper, as Monk has turned his attention to snapping up a number one ahead of the upcoming campaign. 

A top keeper at Championship level 

Darlow, who made 34 appearances for Newcastle last season as they picked up The Championship league title on the final day of the season, is thought to be valued a lot more highly by the club.

However, Newcastle manager Rafael Benítez has made it already clear this summer that Darlow is not going to be his first choice keeper as the club return to the top flight next season. It has already been widely reported that Benítez wants to bring Pepe Reina to the club from Napoli this summer after previously working with the Spaniard during his time in charge at Liverpool

Benítez wants Pepe Reina to be his No. 1 next season. (picture: Getty Images / Emilo Andreoll)
Benítez wants Pepe Reina to be his No. 1 next season. (picture: Getty Images / Emilo Andreoll)

There is no doubt that Darlow would be a good signing for Boro if he was to make the short switch. He began his career with Nottingham Forest and finally broke through into the first team in the 2012/13 season after being given a chance by Alex McLeish. He was rewarded with a four-year deal in 2013 and also became Billy Davies' first choice keeper following his dramatic return to The City Ground

He made a total of 106 appearances for Forest before joining up with Newcastle after he was sold in controversial fashion. Both Darlow and his team mate Jamaal Lascelles signed long-term contracts with Newcastle in 2014 after being signed for an undisclosed fee. However, they were loaned back to Forest for the 2014/15 season. Many Forest supporters criticised owner Fawaz Al-Hasawi for the sale and it was also later revealed that it was against manager Stuart Pearce's wishes. 

Darlow finally gets his chance in top flight

The 26-year-old was finally able to make his long awaited league debut for Newcastle in December 2015 against West Bromwich Albion. However, Darlow struggled to make an impression following his breakthrough in to the first team. He made nine appearances in total in the 2015/16 season which ultimately saw the club relegated from the top flight. 

It was last season in The Championship, when Darlow was finally given his chance, that he flourished. He was installed as Benítez's first choice keeper and made 34 appearances in total over the season. It was a season of many highlights for the keeper, including saving two penalties in one match against former club Forest at The City Ground, which Newcastle ultimately lost 2-1

Darlow saved two penalties against former club Forest last season. (picture: Getty Images / Laurence Griffiths)
Darlow saved two penalties against former club Forest last season. (picture: Getty Images / Laurence Griffiths)

However, despite having a huge part to play in Newcastle's promotion to the top flight, it looks like he may have to settle for another season in The Championship. It is Boro who look to be in prime position to snap up his services this summer, with Garry Monk desperate to add a quality keeper to his ranks. 

Boro have already seen both Víctor Valdés and Brad Guzan leave the club following a torrid campaign last time out which ultimately saw them relegated from the top flight. Monk will be eager to get a deal completed for Darlow as soon as possible with Championship rivals Aston Villa and Reading also said to be keen in securing a deal. 

If Monk is to secure the signature of Darlow, it will be his third signing of the summer as he looks to build a squad capable of an immediate return to the top flight next season. Defender Cyrus Christie and midfielder Jonny Howson joined the club for undisclosed fees yesterday from Derby County and Norwich City respectively.