FORMER Newport County Karl Darlow missed out on a dream chance to play at Wembley with the Exiles, but he could be set to join a club with Champions League experience, the Argus can reveal.
The Nottingham Forest goalkeeper is highly regarded in this part of the world by the Amber Army after playing a key role in helping Newport to secure their Conference survival in the 2011/12 campaign.
Indeed, the English-born goalkeeper is also coveted by the Football Association of Wales, he qualifies through his grandfather, Ken Leek, who played for Wales and the FAW were keen to get the Forest stopper to commit his international future to the Dragons.
That bid was unsuccessful with ambitious Darlow focused on a chance with England and now he’s set to switch the City Ground for one of two Premier League giants with both Tottenham and Liverpool keen on the 22-year old.
The Argus can reveal that Tottenham have led the interest, having submitted a formal bid for Darlow with manager Tim Sherwood keen to make him his first signing since succeeding Andre Villas Boas as head coach.
Tottenham are once again in the black from their transfer dealings have recouped close to £10 million already this month through the sale of Jermain Defoe.
Spurs enquired about Darlow last week and are hoping to entice Forest at around the £4 million mark. They tabled a bid but Forest are carefully considering their options amid other interest and a desire to keep the player.
It is understood all interested parties are aware of Forest’s wish to keep the player until at least the end of the current campaign with Forest themselves chasing a promotion place and a return to the Premier League.
Spurs have already offered Forest a fee that included a provision for Darlow to remain at the City Ground on loan, but Brendan Rodgers is also keeping tabs on the situation.
Newport manager Justin Edinburgh, who signed Darlow, is certain whoever wins the transfer battle will be securing a top class goalkeeper.
“I think he has to be the best signing we made, in my time at Newport,” Edinburgh wrote in a one-off column in the Argus.
“He won us games 1-0 almost single-handedly, and I take a lot of pride in seeing him as Nottingham Forest’s number one, he will go far.
“I think he’ll go on to play for England; I have no doubts about that. I remember his first training session vividly as the lads were trying to score past him for hours without any success.”