This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
According to The Sun, Manchester United are “scouring Europe for goalkeepers” amid fears David de Gea could be sold in the January transfer window.
The Spain international has been the subject of intense transfer speculation in recent years, but has continued to stay put at Old Trafford.
However, despite earlier reports suggesting he had agreed terms on a fresh deal with the Red Devils, no confirmation of a new contract has been announced.
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De Gea’s existing deal with the club expires at the end of the current season, meaning he could sign for a foreign club on a free transfer in 2020. The Sun claim that due to the apparent contract stand-off, contingency plans have been drawn up, with the likes of Jan Oblak and Dominik Livakovic on the short-list.
The report adds that while the club are “desperate” to keep hold of De Gea, the 28-year-old could be sold in January in order to avoid missing out on a potentially huge transfer fee.
In recent seasons, the prospect of losing De Gea would have been frightening for United. The Spaniard has arguably been the Premier League’s best goalkeeper of this decade, and has been one of the club’s most consistent performers. But last season’s dramatic dip in form has raised questions, and the idea of selling him isn’t as daunting as it was before.
The 28-year-old made four errors that directly contributed to goals last year, whilst he was also in the spotlight for failing to keep out Patrick van Aanholt’s winner for Crystal Palace this season. Despite the mistakes however, De Gea still retains a sizeable market value, and losing him on a free transfer would be criminal.
If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side can demand a sizeable fee in January, and a new contract isn’t going to materialise, then they must cash in. Dean Henderson’s impressive displays at Sheffield United certainly offer United hope that they already have a long-term replacement for De Gea on their hands, and so perhaps it would be best for all parties that they find a way to move on in the winter.