Record in Portugal are reporting on Wednesday that AFC Bournemouth and Newcastle United both sent scouts to watch Tuesday night’s clash between Benfica and RB Leipzig in the Champions League.
One of the big question marks this summer after Asmir Begovic lost his number one spot at the Vitality last season was who the next first-team goalkeeper would be.
A rotation of the Bosnian, Artur Boruc and Mark Travers then took place, but the return of Aaron Ramsdale from AFC Wimbledon saw him convince Eddie Howe he should start the Premier League campaign.
So far, the 21-year-old has featured in every game outside of the EFL Cup, conceding nine goals in five games.
However, it was no secret Bournemouth were looking at goalkeepers over the summer, with recurring reports suggesting Fiorentina’s Bartlomiej Dragowski had been the subject of a bid from Howe’s side, only to remain in Italy and be the Serie A club’s number one.
The job at the Vitality is Ramsdale’s for now, but that doesn’t mean the club aren’t looking at more experienced shot stoppers around Europe just in case they feel the need for safer hands between the sticks.
This could be why Bournemouth sent a scout to Portugal on Wednesday, per a list published in Record‘s Wednesday edition.
Péter Gulácsi, who is 29 and rather experienced, was widely seen as one of, if not the best goalkeepers in the Bundesliga last season, while Benfica’s Odysseas Vlachodimos, at 25, represents a potentially cheaper and youngster option to the Hungarian.
And there’s a good chance Newcastle were there for the Greek shot stopper as well, as a report from May claimed Steve Bruce’s side had ‘made contact’ with the Liga NOS club regarding a potential transfer.
The idea was that Rafa Benitez thought Vlachodimos could provide good competition for Martin Dubravka, which might have carried on under Bruce, even with the Slovakian reportedly close to signing a new deal.
At the time, Benfica were said to have asked for €15m, which would make the goalkeeper very affordable for either Bournemouth or the Magpies.
It’s also worth pointing out the Cherries could also have travelled to see if Ademola Lookman, whom they were keeping an eye on before his summer move to Leipzig, made it onto the pitch, but the Englishman sat firmly on the bench for the duration of the encounter.
In fact, Julian Nagelsmann explained over the weekend that the 21-year-old was being gradually introduced to German football, giving him time to settle in and adapt to his new manager’s way of doing things.