Karl Darlow has today completed a £400k permanent transfer to Leeds United from Newcastle United, with the goalkeeper leaving St. James' Park following a nine-year spell. He has signed a three-year contract with the Yorkshire club.
The 32-year-old joined the Magpies from Nottingham Forest for £5 million alongside Jamaal Lascelles way back in 2014. He spent 2014/15 on loan back at the City Ground before becoming a permanent member of the Newcastle squad ahead of the 2015/16 campaign.
Since then, Darlow has gone on to make 100 senior appearances for the club, keeping 25 clean sheets and conceding 136 goals. The Northampton-born shot-stopper has been surplus to requirements at St. James' since the signing of Nick Pope from Burnley last summer, though, and spent the second half of 2022/23 on loan at Hull City in the Championship.
His spell at the MKM Stadium was successful, with Darlow making 12 league appearances and keeping five clean sheets. Hull were said to be keen on signing Darlow permanently, but were unable to pay a transfer fee and match his wage demands. Middlesbrough were in the same boat, leaving Leeds and Bournemouth to go head-to-head for Darlow's signature.
The Whites have won that battle, likely due to offering a more realistic prospect of first-team football and due to being much, much closer to Newcastle. Darlow has a wife and a young family, and some reports have said that he was reluctant to uproot them from their North East base.
Speaking about Darlow's impending exit at a press conference on Tuesday evening in Atlanta, Eddie Howe had this to say about his 'keeper:
He would certainly go with our best wishes. He's been an incredible servant to the football club. We value him very highly but we can't carry a team of five goalkeepers.
We'd certainly join Howe in wishing Darlow the best. He's been a model professional throughout his time at Newcastle.