May 30, 2018 / 6:59 PM / 25 days ago

Newcastle sign goalkeeper Dubravka on permanent deal

(Reuters) - Newcastle United have completed the permanent signing of Slovakian goalkeeper Martin Dubravka from Sparta Prague after a successful loan spell last season, the Premier League club said on Wednesday.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Crystal Palace vs Newcastle United - Selhurst Park, London, Britain - February 4, 2018 Newcastle's Martin Dubravka during the warm up before the match REUTERS/David Klein

The 29-year-old arrived at St James’ Park in January and made 12 league appearances as Rafa Benitez’s side finished 10th in the top flight.

Dubravka becomes Newcastle’s first signing in the close season, on a contract until June 2022, after the club activated the option to sign him.

“Ever since he arrived with us on loan he has shown a fantastic attitude and great work ethic, and of course we have been very impressed with his performances for us on the pitch last season,” Benitez said in a statement.

“This was one of the key positions we had identified we needed to strengthen and had been concerned about, so it is excellent news that we are able now to sign him on a permanent basis.”

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

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