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Manchester United: Alex Crook claims club are closing in on Butland

Manchester United are close to completing a move for Crystal Palace goalkeeper Jack Butland, according to Alex Crook.

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The former England goalkeeper is set to move to Old Trafford to provide cover for David De Gea, after Martin Dubravka’s loan move was cancelled.

The 29-year-old played 17 times for Palace, but failed to usurp Vincente Guaita as the number one choice, and is on the verge of joining Tom Heaton as De Gea’s competition.

Speaking on TalkSPORT, Crook explained the details of the deal which looks close to being finalised.

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“It looks like Jack Butland is going to sign from Crystal Palace. They had Dubravka on loan for the first half of the season but he only made two appearances,” he stated.

“He’s been recalled, I think at his own request by Newcastle because he wasn’t getting enough game time.

“They need a backup option to David De Gea, I think we spoke about Yann Sommer of Borussia Monchengladbach, he’s certainly a summer target, but we still don’t know if De Gea is going to commit.

‘They’ve got an option on his contract, he’s on big money so ideally they would like him to sign a longer-term deal, maybe for a reduced weekly salary.”

A long-term solution

Whilst Butland was a huge goalkeeping talent in his younger days, he failed to reach his potential and is far from a long-term goalkeeping solution for Erik ten Hag as he seeks a successor to De Gea.

Dean Henderson is out on loan at Nottingham Forest, but it remains to be seen whether he will part ways for good or return to Old Trafford.

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United need a younger goalkeeper for the long run who can play in Ten Hag’s system, and although Sommer is a good keeper, at 34 he is never going to be the number one at United.

Although Butland will provide experienced cover, and is classified as a home-grown player for United’s squad, it is unlikely that he will ever fully challenge De Gea for the number one spot.