Birmingham City goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak has revealed Newcastle United failed in their attempt to sign him on loan in January.
Rafael Benitez made strengthening the number one position his main priority at the beginning of the year– alongside a striker – and Kuszczak claims he was approached but the Blues rejected the Magpies' loan offer.
Instead, Benitez’ search for a goalkeeper reached its conclusion on deadline day as he secured the services of Sparta Prague keeper Martin Dubravka – who signed permanently for the club last week.
Of course, the rest is history with Dubravka playing a lead role in United’s successful mission to beat the drop and go one step further by finishing in 10th place.
What Kuszczak has said
As well as interest from the North East club, Kuszczak revealed Derby County were also interested but Birmingham did not want to let the Poland-international leave.
“In the winter transfer window, I had a loan offer from Newcastle, and Derby also approached me. However, Birmingham said that I should stay at the club,” the former Manchester United keeper told Przeglad Sportowy.
Will Newcastle revisit the deal this summer?
The 36-year-old has one-year left on his contract at St Andrew’s and has been told he is free to leave this summer.
With Karl Darlow and Rob Elliott set to battle it out for the number two jersey next season, Benitez might be willing to listen to offers for the pair, although it is believed Darlow is in talks to extend his current contract.
If Darlow and Elliott decide to seek moves away from the club, Benitez is unlikely to stand in their way - paving way for a second Kuszczak approach.
“My contract is still valid for a year, but the situation has changed a little, because after the season I received a green light to be transferred,” said Kuszczak.
“I am waiting for a signal from my representatives. Other managers already know that a transfer option has appeared.
“I am calm, if there are no good offers then I will wait for a year, then I will be a free agent.”