Newcastle United have confirmed the permanent signing of goalkeeper Martin Dubravka from Sparta Prague on a four-year contract.
The 29-year-old joined Rafael Benitez’ side in January on loan with a view to making it a permanent move in the summer.
And having become a fans' favourite in his five months at St James’ Park, the Magpies have acted quickly to snap up the Slovakian for just £4 million.
Since announcing himself as a Newcastle player in the 1-0 win over Manchester United in February, Dubravka’s impact saw United lose just once in his first seven games – all but confirming the club's top-flight status.
In total, he conceded 11 goals - one shy of the same amount of games - as well as collecting four clean sheets as the Magpies secured a Premier League top 10 finish for the first time since the 2013-14 season.
“Perfect deal for the club” – Benitez
The Toon boss told NUFC.co.uk: “we’re delighted to finalise the permanent signing of Martin to Newcastle United today.
"Ever since he arrived with us on loan he has shown a fantastic attitude and great work ethic, and of course we have been very impressed with his performances for us on the pitch last season.”
Before Dubravka joined on deadline day, Benitez relied on Rob Elliott and Karl Darlow in the goalkeeping department.
However, after winning just three times in 18 games matches before the 29-year-old’s arrival, Benitez identified the number one position as one they “needed to strengthen and had been concerned about” so believes “it is excellent news that we are able now to sign him on a permanent basis.”
Benitez then went onto praise managing director Lee Charnley and chief scout Steve Nickson for negotiating such a low buyout clause.
“The loan deal with an option to buy was the perfect deal for the club,” the Spaniard said.
"It is credit to Lee Charnley and also Steve Nickson for putting that in place because it gave me and my staff the opportunity to look at him and work with him and see how he would perform for us before committing to signing him permanently.
"It has been very good business for the club and we now say congratulations to Martin and look forward to having him with us for the long term at Newcastle United."