In somewhat of a surprise move, Newcastle are set to sign defender Jamaal Lascelles and goalkeeper Karl Darlow from Nottingham Forest. The reported combined fee (£7 million) is less than what had been offered by Tottenham Hotspur, Queens Park Rangers, and Arsenal had bid, but it seems that the Toon were able to entice Forest by immediately loaning them back for a full twelve months. (The Chronicle) Darlow and Lascelles will arrive in Newcastle Monday evening for medicals before being sent back. They will not have recall clauses.
The move satisfies two stated goals for Alan Pardew: A young goalkeeper and a young defender. Darlow, 23, kept 13 clean sheets as the Reds' starting keeper last year. Lascelles is a 20 year-old capable of playing in the middle or on the right who played 20 matches for the senior squad last season.
It's refreshing to see Newcastle looking forward to the future, especially on the defensive half of the pitch. At the very least, the pair should provide squad depth. The purchase of Darlow is a bit curious, however. Next season Tim Krul and Rob Elliot will still be under contract, and Jak Alnwick will be 21, making him subject to squad restrictions. At least one of the four goalkeepers will need to be shipped out elsewhere, and if the club feels that 17 year-old Freddie Woodman is ready to be the third option, it's conceivable that two of them will be gone. Obviously, this will fuel speculation of Krul's departure, but perhaps that's been pushed down the road a year. This will be something to watch, for sure.
Until then, we have two good reason to monitor Nottingham Forest's progress in the Championship. In twelve months, the pair will be just like new signings - for real this time.