Ben Foster has revealed he turned down a lucrative offer to join Newcastle United before hanging up his gloves.
The 39-year-old explained all in his latest podcast, having been without a club since leaving Watford following their relegation last season.
However, Newcastle did come calling and were keen to lure the experienced shot-stopper to St James’ Park.
Foster, who has eight caps for England, received a huge proposal from Eddie Howe’s side, who became the richest club in the world after a £300 million takeover from a Saudi Arabia led consortium was completed back in October.
The Magpies are currently undergoing a goalkeeping crisis, with Martin Dubravka joining Manchester United in the summer, as back up to David de Gea.
Karl Darlow remains sidelined through injury, which resulted in the club wanting another goalkeeper as an understudy to No.1 Nick Pope.
Foster has claimed the offer he received was a good one, but admitted it would not have been worthwhile given he lives with his family in the Midlands, four hours away.
“Deep down I didn’t want to do it [turn down Newcastle],” Foster said on Fozcast.
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“It sounds mad and it’s such a hard thing to explain because there’ll be millions of people up and down the country that will say ‘you’ve just been offered a contract, a really good contract, by the richest team in the world to go and be second-choice goalkeeper and be part of something’.
“But I just didn’t want to do it, I had this deep feeling, and the wrench of it was that I’d have to move away from home, that would kill me.
“If I’m in an apartment in Newcastle by myself, away from my family, I don’t think people can understand. That’s hard to do, especially at the age I am and with everything else I’ve got going on.
“I know for a fact if I’d have gone there I’d have had an amazing time, the lads would have been absolutely brilliant and I’d have buzzed off the stadium, the fans, all that kind of stuff, but the overriding sinking feeling was ‘I don’t want to do this.’
“I was just eating my dinner and I thought ‘no, I’m not doing it’. I’ve got to be happy and comfortable and I wouldn’t be able to do that so far away from my family. It would kill me.’
Newcastle have since decided to sign former Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius on a free transfer.
The German, 28, joins the Magpies on a short-term deal with the option to extend for a further year.
Karius’ six-year spell with Liverpool came to an end this summer after he was released from his contract.
Making a total of 49 appearances for Jurgen Klopp’s side, he did not play for the team again after his howlers in the 2017/18 Champions League final against Real Madrid.
Instead, he spent time out on loan with Union Berlin and Besiktas before spending the entire 2021/22 campaign on the sidelines at Anfield.
“We are pleased to add Loris [Karius] to our goalkeeping group,” said Newcastle boss Howe.
“He is a very good goalkeeper with Premier League and European experience and he will provide competition and support over an important part of the season.”
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