Erik ten Hag hails Fernandes’ finish as Man Utd sink Saints
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Manchester United have reached an agreement over the signing of Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, as Erik ten Hag closes in on his fifth and sixth recruits of the summer transfer window. The Red Devils have been chasing a goalkeeper to provide David de Gea with competition this season and look set to finally land their man.
According to Fabrizio Romano, United have agreed a deal in principle with Newcastle for Dubravka, who has already settled on personal terms over an Old Trafford switch. The Magpies are ready to let him leave on a season-long loan with the option to buy him next summer for £5million.
Sky Sports report that the clause will become an obligation to buy dependent on the number of appearances Dubravka makes throughout the 2022/23 campaign. Final paperwork and a medical are the final steps to complete before he joins Ajax winger Antony in joining United before Thursday’s deadline.
United have agreed to make the 22-year-old Brazilian winger the Dutch Eredivisie’s most expensive export of all time, paying up to £85m for his signature. Antony was Ten Hag’s attacking priority, and his arrival is expected to become official on Monday or Tuesday once he completes a medical in Manchester.
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Dubravka joined Newcastle in January 2018 on an initial loan from Sparta Prague and impressed on his debut against United in a 1-0 victory at St. James’ Park. He joined permanently in the summer of that year and has been the Tyneside giants’ first-choice goalkeeper in the four following seasons.
However, his role was decreased in the previous two campaigns due to long-term injuries, making 13 Premier League appearances in 2020/21 and 26 outings in 21/22. And this summer, Eddie Howe recruited England international Nick Pope in a £10m deal from Burnley, leaving Dubravka as a backup option.
Dubravka, who has earned 30 caps for Slovakia, will challenge De Gea for a starting berth between the sticks, filling in for Dean Henderson after his loan move to Nottingham Forest. He’s likely to act as United’s cup goalkeeper and will be first-choice in the Europa League.
Tom Heaton is also at Ten Hag’s disposal, but Ten Hag appears to want an option with more recent experience playing regularly at the highest level. Dubravka could be the Red Devils’ final acquisition of a hectic transfer window, with just over three days remaining.
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