Transfer insider Fabrizio Romano has detailed how Manchester United did not bid for Bart Verbruggen, with the goalkeeper closing in on a move to Brighton.
United’s goalkeeper situation is currently up in the air. David de Gea is out of contract this summer, and while currently negotiating new terms, it’s not yet been announced that he’s signed a new deal.
Jordan Pickford is one of the club’s main targets to replace him, or rival him for the position.
Indeed, it’s been reported the Red Devils will attempt to sign the Everton man whether De Gea leaves or not. Whether or not that has any bearing on the Spaniard’s next step remains to be seen.
There have been a number of other goalkeepers linked with moves to Old Trafford. David Raya is a potential, but looks more likely to move to Tottenham, despite the fact they, along with United, don’t feel he’s worth the £40million Brentford want.
Most of the options they seem to have considered are players that have experience in the Premier League. Indeed, Raya has been one of the league’s most promising keepers in the past couple of years, and England no.1 Pickford’s credentials are clear as day.
United have also been linked with Anderlecht keeper Verbruggen. He’s neither an experienced keeper, nor is he already playing in the English top flight.
The 20-year-old has played just half a season in the Belgian Pro League. However, he’s clearly impressed United enough for them to register an interest.
Romano states United did not bid for Verbruggen
It’s not difficult to see why he has impressed. His save percentage was the third-best in the league according to FBRef and the eight clean sheets he kept equate to just under half of his games.
However, it’s not only United that noted Verbruggen could be a great asset in the Premier League.
Transfer insider Romano states that Brighton are ‘advancing to the final stages’ of the deal to sign the Belgian.
He also mentions contact between United and Anderlecht. Indeed, Romano states the Red Devils ‘called to be informed on conditions’ but they did not lodge a bid.
With that being said, Brighton look to have the best chance of snaring the goalkeeper.
Verbruggen could go straight to no.1
There’s an interesting situation between the sticks at the AMEX. Regular starter for the past few seasons, Robert Sanchez, was dropped mid-season, managing just 23 games in the Premier League.
He was replaced by 32-year-old Jason Steele, who managed 15 appearances. His ascension to the no.1 spot was unexpected, given he’d played just once in the Premier League before despite having made over 250 career appearances, and having been at the club for the previous three seasons.
Whether Brighton want to remain with a man that started as their second-choice goalkeeper remains to be seen. There’s a chance Verbruggen is thrust straight into the role if he does sign.
In any case, the Seagulls will want to have him secured so that he can make that step at some point. If he’s to impress in his role, United could kick themselves, as they could have conceivably signed him had they wanted to, but instead allowed him to go to a league rival.