Man Utd staff ‘watching duo’ as David de Gea may be offered ultimatum

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Manchester United’s hierarchy are reportedly scouring the market for a new goalkeeper to fit the mould of what Erik ten Hag is looking for amid the uncertainty over David de Gea’s long-term future at the club. The Red Devils have relied on De Gea between the sticks over the course of this season but have been tipped to replace the Spaniard as a result of his often poor distribution and sub-par ability to communicate with his defenders.

De Gea will also be out of contract at the end of the campaign as things stand, which suggests that his 11-year spell at United will be coming to an end if he is not offered a new deal at Old Trafford over the coming weeks and months. It seems as though United have already started to look for his eventual replacement in goal, with the club’s recruitment team currently keeping tabs on two potential targets ahead of next season, according to The Athletic.

It is claimed that Porto stopper Diogo Costa is one of the players in question after being watched in person by United scouts against Braga earlier this month. The 23-year-old was initially earmarked as a target during the summer months but ultimately ended up staying in Portugal, with United failing to firm up their interest in his services with any official bids.

Costa’s agent, Jorge Mendes, has been widely tipped to secure a big move for his client in the not-too-distant future and has reportedly identified United as one of the standout candidates for his signature. However, it remains to be seen whether the switch will eventually come to fruition, with the player still tied down to Porto until the summer of 2026 as things stand.

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United have also been credited with a desire to land Villarreal goalkeeper Unai Simon, who has turned plenty of heads with his impressive performances in La Liga over the last few months. The 25-year-old has also emerged as Spain’s first-choice option between the sticks as of late and is expected to feature heavily for Luis Enrique’s side at this year’s World Cup in Qatar.

De Gea, meanwhile, could still be offered an extension to his current deal at United but it remains to be seen whether he will be prepared to sign if he is no longer guaranteed a regular starting berth. It is said that United may decide to start negotiating a contract on much lower terms than De Gea is currently on, which could potentially force him to deal with a similar situation to the one faced by Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong over the summer.

The latter was told by the Catalan giants that he would be sold if he did not accept a reduced salary, although the player’s firm desire to stay meant that a move did not come about in the way that his club would have hoped. Only time will tell if De Gea is made available by United in the event he fails to agree a new deal at Old Trafford, with the 31-year-old’s hopes of staying at the club seemingly dependent on his willingness to take a pay cut.

Jamie Carragher insisted that De Gea is not good enough with his feet to play under Ten Hag after United’s opening-day loss at the hands of Brighton, during which he failed to impress while in possession of the ball.

“I go back to how important Ten Hag sees his goalkeeper on the ball,” said Carragher in his role as a pundit on Sky Sports. “For him, he thinks he has a back three and the goalkeeper is a player. But the problem is, this goalkeeper is not good enough on the ball, yet.

“He wants to give the goalkeeper angles. The idea is fine, but I just think the player he has got in there is not good enough to do it.”


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