According to The Sun, the Red Devils – as well as Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur – have been ‘alerted’ to the 28-year-old’s situation at Goodison Park, with the former Sunderland ace currently in a ‘row’ over pay.
The report suggests that the 50-cap sensation – who has just 18 months left on his existing deal on Merseyside – has informed his current side that he wishes to stay at the club, although is said to be demanding a greater wage increase than what Frank Lampard and co are offering.
That has piqued the interest of both United and Spurs, with the two parties said to be open to doubling the stopper’s reported £100k-per-week wage in order to secure his services.
The goalkeeping situation remains a point of concern for manager Erik ten Hag, with long-serving asset David de Gea having just a matter of months left on his current contract, while Dean Henderson – who is currently on loan at Nottingham Forest – may well have burned his bridges with his parent club following his incendiary interview during the summer.
With it yet to be seen just who will be the long-term first-choice pick at Old Trafford – with Jack Butland having only joined on a six-month loan deal last week – turning to Pickford could well be an ideal solution for United.
The 6 foot 1 ace has been something of a “hero” for Everton in recent years – according to Sam Allardyce – having also been dubbed “outstanding” by Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson after helping to steer his side away from relegation at the end of last season.
The £18m-rated menace notably kept 117 saves in the top flight last term – the sixth-most in the division – while he has also continued that rich vein of form this time around, with his tally of 68 saves only bettered by Brentford’s David Raya.
That quality was evident in the recent FA Cup meeting at the Theatre of Dreams, with Pickford having made a ‘number of important saves‘ to keep his side in the game, as per 90min’s Jamie Spencer, despite eventually ending up on the losing side.
A key facet of his game also has been the Washington-born star’s quality on the ball, with that showcased by the fact that he ranks in the top 8% in Europe among those in his position for passes longer than 40 yards, allowing him to pose a “threat” to the opposition, as per German counterpart, Manuel Neuer.
A reliable figure at international level – having now featured at two World Cups and at the European Championship under Gareth Southgate – the one-time Preston North End loanee clearly has the ability to thrive on the elite stage.
That should well make him an attractive prospect for Ten Hag, with Pickford seemingly one outstanding candidate to become United’s long-term fit between the sticks.