Early last week, France Football made some strange claims about Alphone Aréola and how Rafa Benitez was interested in signing the French goalkeeper for either Newcastle or whichever other club the Spaniard ended up managing.
This made little sense considering how well Martin Dubravka has done on loan from Sparta Prague, with the Slovakian shot stopper expected to make his St James’ Park stay more permanent.
Originally in competition with Kevin Trapp in the French capital, Aréola ended up making the starting role between the sticks his own this season under Unai Emery, but the rumours suggesting a new goalkeeper would be signed this summer (like Jan Oblak) meant an exit could be on the cards.
However, the latest stories emerging from France suggest Thomas Tuchel, Paris Saint-Germain’s new manager, will bring in Gianluigi Buffon, and that changes everything.
According to Paris United, the arrival of the veteran isn’t an issue for Aréola, who sees the opportunity to learn beside him ‘a privilege’, after a meeting with the club’s board, who still have trust in him.
This news was echoed by Tuchel himself, who told Le Parisien in an interview: “There’s no reason for [the goalkeeper situation] to change, but I need to know him better, and he’ll need to fight for his spot like any other player in the squad. There’ll be others who’ll want his spot. There’s no goalkeeper issue at PSG. I like [Aréola]”.
From all this, it appears there’s little chance of Benitez actually landing Aréola, meaning Dubravka will probably be the club’s number one next season.
If his performances this season are anything to go by, there will be few complains among the St James’ Park faithful.