In May, Portuguese outlet O Jogo reported that Newcastle were tracking Benfica goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos. The Greek international just joined Benfica in the summer of 2018 and helped them win the league title last year.
Vlachodimos was born in Stuttgart and rose through their academy before joining Panathinaikos on a free in 2016. He then moved to Benfica for only around £2m.
Last season the twenty-five-year-old had a stellar campaign and has seen his stock rise as a result. The report from May said his transfer fee had already risen to around £13m. While nothing came of the links to Vlachodimos this past summer, the club could still retain an interest in the player.
The Shields Gazette are reporting that Newcastle sent scouts to watch the Champions League match between Benfica and RB Leipzig in Portugal last night.
While Benfica is loaded with young talent, Vlachodimos is the only target we know of that was involved last night. Another player that Newcastle were briefly linked with was striker Patrik Schick who is on loan at RB Leipzig from Roma. However, Schick was not in the match-day squad for Leipzig.
Both Karl Darlow and Rob Elliot have contracts due to expire this summer. There have been no reported talks of extensions for either of the two. We wonder if the club were scouting Vlachodimos as possible competition for Martin Dubravka.
Yesterday, it was reported that Dubravka could double his wages to £70k/week in a new deal, so he is clearly the number one for the moment. There is also Freddie Woodman who is doing fantastic on loan at Swansea this season. However, Freddie’s contract is not long-term and only runs until 2021.
Other than those two, the goalkeeping ranks are quite thin if Darlow and Elliot are not retained. Newcastle do have Jake Turner in the U23s and Nathan Harker on loan at Blyth, but they are still likely a few years away.
It makes sense that Newcastle are scouting possible additions at the position. While it’s unlikely a move for a goalkeeper would happen this winter, we would expect one to be high on the list in the summer.
This article was originally posted here