Portuguese outlet O Jogo have claimed that Newcastle United have joined AS Roma in the race to sign Benfica goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos this summer.
The 25-year-old goalkeeper has an interesting background. He was born in Germany and played for all of his birth nation’s youth teams, including the Under-21 side. But he chose to represent Greece at senior level, and he has three caps.
He came through Stuttgart’s youth system, but only managed three senior appearances before being offloaded to Panathinaikos. His stats caught the eye – conceding just 45 goals in 63 games, keeping a huge 34 clean sheets.
Vlachodimos then moved to Benfica last summer, and he has been first choice since. He helped the Portuguese outfit win the league, making 50 appearances and clocking up 19 clean sheets.
Roma are also interested in signing Vlachodimos this summer, but Newcastle have made inroads and opened talks with Benfica over luring the Greek colossus to Tyneside. It is believed Benfica want at least £13.2million.
Vlachodimos’ stats speak for himself. He is an excellent goalkeeper that has proved it at the highest level this season, helping his side limit Ajax to just two goals over two group games.
It is a surprise that the stopper was not picked up earlier by any Premier League clubs, given his intriguing background and his sensational form for Panathinaikos.
Is he better than Martin Dubravka? Or is he a replacement? Only time will tell.