Fabrizio Romano has provided differing updates on Man Utd interest in two high profile stars who are plunging the future of David de Gea into serious jeopardy.
The futures of several Man Utd superstars are coming under the microscope. Cristiano Ronaldo has deployed a scorched earth policy upon giving an explosive interview to Piers Morgan.
Ronaldo teed off on many elements of the club he returned to 15 months ago, including his current manager, former boss, club executives and the Old Trafford culture. Clearly, Ronaldo has played his final match for Manchester United one way or another.
Elsewhere, David de Gea’s future appears up in the air, though for altogether different reasons.
At 32, De Gea still has plenty to offer and remains an elite-level operator on the pitch.
He won Man Utd’s Players’ Player of the Year award last season and has backed that up with a string of impressive displays this campaign.
However, Erik ten Hag is known to harbour concerns about De Gea’s suitability to his system. The Spaniard’s lack of ability in possession, as well as his hesitancy to adopt a higher starting position are both drawbacks for the Dutch manager.
De Gea is out of contract next summer, though United do hold an option for an extra 12 months. The Athletic were among various outlets to report United are considering younger targets who’d be a better fit for Ten Hag’s style.
The Mirror claimed Brighton’s Robert Sanchez is one such player under consideration. The 24-year-old usurped De Gea in Luis Enrique’s Spain squad for the World Cup and continues to earn plaudits for his stellar displays at the AMEX.
The newspaper claimed he’s emerged as Ten Hag’s primary target, though per Fabrizio Romano, that claim may have been premature.
Via CaughtOffside, Romano reported a move for Sanchez in 2023 is very much in its infancy, thus suggesting Sanchez might not be as fancied as some outlets have stated.
“I’m told there’s nothing advanced on Robert Sanchez as of now,” Romano said.
The update on another target was rather more encouraging, however.
Man Utd undeterred by €75m release clause
United are known to be huge admirers of FC Porto’s Diogo Costa.
Porto are well aware of the Red Devils’ interest and moved quickly to tie the 23-year-old down to fresh terms earlier this month.
Costa signed a new five-year deal running to 2027 that also raised his release clause from €51m to €75m.
However, according to Romano, the raised release clause has not deterred Manchester United one bit.
The trusted journalist added: “Diogo Costa has been monitored and remains appreciated by Manchester United for the future, even if he has signed new long term deal with €75m release clause.”
United are believed to be targeting a goalkeeper in their early-mid 20s who is also a better fit for Ten Hag’s system.
Costa ticks both boxes and given his contract holds a release clause, United know exactly where they’d stand in any future negotiations.
Of course, De Gea may yet force United’s hand and earn a stay of execution if he continues to excel in the second half of the season.
However, it appears United will not be put off by Costa’s release fee if they do determine a more progressive change is required.