Martin Dubravka to Celtic transfer door opened as Newcastle shunt Slovakian closer to St James' Park exit

Newcastle have opened a door for Celtic to make a move for Martin Dubravka.

The Slovak star has been thrust closer to the St James’s Park exit after Magpies boss Eddie Howe signed two new goalkeepers in one day. United sealed a double deal with both Nottingham Forest’s Odysseas Vlachodimos and Birmingham City veteran John Ruddy arriving on Tyneside. Dubravka, who has just one year left on his current Newcastle deal, is now odds-on to leave with first-choice Nick Pope also back to full fitness following five months out with a serious shoulder injury.

The 35-year-old claimed at the beginning of the Euros that Celtic had expressed an interest in him a year ago. Now, following his heartbreaking exit for the tournament after Slovakia’s last-gasp loss to England, Dubravka looks clear to clinch his switch away from the Geordies. Celtic are scouring the market for a new No.1 as they hunt down a replacement for retired double winner Joe Hart.

Parkhead chiefs have a variety of options as Brendan Rodgers and his recruitment team seek the right man to take the gloves from such an inspirational figure. Dubravka is understood to have options, but, if Celtic decide he is the suitable target, Newcastle’s signing of Vlachodimos and Ruddy now appears to have cleared the pathway. They also have Mark Gillespie on the books as a keeper.

Meanwhile, Sead Haksabanovic claims the Celtic board wanted him to stay at the club and that is exit is purely down to Brendan Rodgers.

The Montenegro international completed a switch to Malmo on a four-year deal last week, bringing his three-year stint at Parkhead to an end. Haksabanovic found himself out of favour after Rodgers replaced Ange Postecoglou as Hoops boss and he was loaned to Stoke City last season. But he failed to make much of an impact with the Potters and his days in Glasgow looked numbered.

Now, having made the switch to Sweden, the former Rubin Kazan man claims that the Hoops hierarchy were keen for him to remain with the Scottish Premiership champions, and that it was Rodgers who was the driving force behind him leaving Glasgow. And he reckons there is little difference between his current club and his former one, making a bold comparison to Spanish and European champions Real Madrid.

Explaining his Celtic exit in an interview with fotbollskanalen, Haksabanovic said: “Yes, mostly (it was down to) him (Rodgers), because the board wanted me to stay. They believed in me but he had other plans Football-wise, I don’t think Malmo and Celtic are far apart. Malmo in Sweden is like Real Madrid in Spain.”