Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka could have become an Aston Villa or Chelsea player some time before he eventually moved to England, claims The Daily Mail.

The Slovakia international was initially on loan from Sparta Prague to the Magpies last season before the move was made permanent in the summer in a deal worth around £3 million.

Dubravka has now firmly established himself as Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez’s number one choice and he has played every minute in the Premier League this season.

During those matches, he has kept four clean sheets, including shutting Watford out during Saturday’s 1-0 victory – the Toon Army’s first of the season.

Dubravka’s performances both during his loan spell and signing permanently have led to him becoming a fan favourite on Tyneside.

However, he might have been plying his trade elsewhere had other clubs got their way.

The Mail claims that as well as Villa, Sheffield United were interested in Dubravka and he was also reportedly also scouted by Chelsea when he was a 21-year-old.

In an in-depth interview with the newspaper focusing primarily on Newcastle’s current plight, no further details about the other approaches were revealed.

Nevertheless, it is clear that throughout his career Dubravka has been very careful about deciding when and where to move.

The 29-year-old spent time playing in Denmark and rejected a move to Sparta before he felt he was ready to compete for the number one jersey.

Without knowing the exact timing or nature of the approaches it is impossible to read too much into them.

However, one thing is certain – Newcastle fans will be delighted that they were the English club that finally got him.

Dubravka will be back in action when Benitez’s side look to build on Saturday’s result against Watford when they host Bournemouth at St James’ Park this weekend.

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