NEWCASTLE United’s Tim Krul goes back home tomorrow – to the Dutch club where he started his career.
The goalkeeper’s relishing Newcastle’s friendly against Den Haag at the 15,000-seat Kyocera Stadium.
Krul left his hometown club for United seven years ago to chase his Premier League dream – and the rest is history.
Now No1 at St James’s Park after dislodging long-serving Steve Harper between the posts, it will be an emotional return for Krul, also a senior Holland international.
The 24-year-old also believes the Eredivisie club will prove worthy pre-season opposition.
“I’m happy to go back to where it all began,” Krul told SportMail.
“It will be good to return. It will be a good game for us and help us pre-season.”
Krul made his Newcastle debut on the European stage.
Glenn Roeder handed him his first start away to Palermo in the UEFA Cup in late 2006.
He pulled off a string of stunning saves in a remarkable 1-0 win for United at the Stadio Renzo Barbera.
A 17-year-old Andy Carroll also made his debut in the same game.
Krul and his team-mates went on to suffer the agony of relegation.
However, the club is back in Europe – United face a two-legged Europa League qualifier last month after finishing fifth in the Premier League last season – and Krul’s predicting “exciting times” if the team can reach the group stage.
“Exciting times are ahead for us now,” he said.
“The fans love to be back in Europe, but we have a tough two legged game first. We have to get through.
“Last season we did well, now we have to build on that.”
NEWCASTLE United were today deciding whether to make a final take-it-or-leave-it offer for Mathieu Debuchy.
The club yesterday had a £5m bid for the defender rejected by Lille.
Debuchy is desperate to join close friend and France colleague Yohan Cabaye at St James’s Park.
But Lille’s president, Michel Seydoux, frustrated at the protracted negotiations, has claimed the 27-year-old right-back, valued at £6m, is no longer for sale.
“I have decided that Mathieu Debuchy will remain at LOSC,” said Seydoux.
“The offer from Newcastle is definitely not at the value of the player.
“For Mathieu Debuchy to leave, it would have taken the offer to be consistent and commensurate with his replacement.
“As the conditions are not met, it is my duty to make a decision.”
United aren’t fooled by Seydoux’s words, which appear to be brinkmanship.
However, the club could yet turn their attention elsewhere, with Ajax’s Gregory van der Wiel one option.
But Debuchy remains Newcastle’s first-choice.