Man Utd set their sights on World Cup star in bid to replace De Gea as Ten Hag rebuild continues

Ben Stewart
Player of Spain Unai Simón controls the ball during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

Manchester United are weighing up their goalkeeping options as the long-term future of David De Gea is now up in the air.

The Spanish goalkeeper has been a regular at Old Trafford since his debut season in 2011-12.

He is currently in the last year of his contract, although United do have the option to take up a further 12-month deal if they choose to do so.

Given that De Gea is one of United’s biggest earners, they might be reluctant to hand out a new deal.

De Gea has grown into the season, although there still remain some question marks over his distribution.

As Erik ten Hag is keen on playing a progressive style of football from the back, it would be no surprise to see another goalkeeper on his wishlist.

The latest player United have been linked to is Athletic Bilbao shot-stopper Unai Simon.

De Gea was snubbed from Spain’s World Cup squad by Luis Enrique and so far Simon has been their number one in the tournament.

According to Spanish outlet Relevo, Man Utd are considering a move for the Spanish goalkeeper.

The report explains that Simon is happy at Bilbao and that the club ‘would only let him leave for a large amount, no less than £30-40m.’

His current contract with the Spanish club runs until 2025 and the club is keen to keep hold of him. The report also explains that ‘they cannot reject a top offer’ if one was to come in from United.

Bilbao are happy with the idea that 21-year-old Julen Agirrezabala would be ready to step up in the event that Simon does leave.

What’s next for De Gea?

Should the Man Utd goalkeeper be made available, he will have plenty of potential suitors from around Europe.

Ten Hag has praised De Gea for the role he has played this season.

“For me, for a goalkeeper, you have to protect the goal and make sure you don’t concede goals. In that fact, he is magnificent,” Ten Hag told the official Man Utd website.

“On the feet, for me, he has the capabilities as well. I think when you see this season, he is progressing from game to game on that part. And that has to do not only with the keeper.

“It has also to do with the ones in front, how you give the keeper the options to bring passes in, because when they don’t run free, or in the wrong moments, or in the wrong positions, then he doesn’t have the options to pass around.

“But I am convinced he can do it and I think the games so far prove that. I think he will improve from game to game on that part.”

De Gea is now 32 years old and still has at least one big move left in his career.

As for United’s other targets, moves for Brighton stopper Robert Sanchez and FC Porto’s Diogo Costa have both been considered.

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