Manchester United have opened talks to sign Jack Butland from Crystal Palace as they look to fill the void created in the squad by Martin Dubravka’s recall to Newcastle.
The Red Devils have a number of issues to consider in their squad created by two recent departures. First up, the exit of Cristiano Ronaldo has left a hole in their attack which Erik ten Hag has already admitted he plans to fill.
A number of names have been linked with the Red Devils, ranging from Joao Felix, Youssoufa Moukoko to Vincent Aboubakar.
But arguably a more pressing issue for Ten Hag comes in goal. The club’s undisputed No 1 David De Gea falls out of contract in the summer and a decision over an extension is yet to be made.
Perhaps more problematic – and certainly in the short-term – is that United are without a genuine back-up. Indeed, following Newcastle’s decision to recall Dubravka from his season’s loan, United only have veteran Tom Heaton and the inexperienced Nathan Bishop.
As such, it is an issue the United manager is keen to address both in the short term and over the long-term.
To that end, a number of names are being linked. And reports on Tuesday suggest Ten Hag is ready to push the boat out to land a World Cup goalkeeper.
However, with any decision on De Gea and a possible successor on hold until the summer, United have moved to find a short-term fix.
And according to the Daily Telegraph’s Mike McGrath, United are in talks over a deal to sign Butland.
Man Utd in talks for Jack Butland
The 29-year-old stopper has clocked up over 290 career appearances in spells at Stoke, Birmingham and Palace. Capped nine times by England – the last of which came in 2018 – he has been with the Eagles since summer 2020.
However, he has failed to make an appearance this season. And with his deal due to expire in the summer, Palace are preparing to let him leave having slipped behind Vicente Guaita and (former United keeper) Sam Johnstone in the pecking order.
United are looking to sign Butland for a nominal fee for the role of back-up keeper at Old Trafford.
That would then allow Ten Hag some time to decide on his long term plan and whether to stick with De Gea.
One of the issues United have with De Gea is his wages. On an estimated £375,000 a week, he is now the club’s top earner following the exits of Paul Pogba and Ronaldo.
Were he to stay on a new deal, the Red Devils would be looking for a sizeable reduction on that agreement.
However, United do have options elsewhere and it seems Ten Hag is ready to make a change over the summer.
Ten Hag targets deal for Yann Sommer
Top of his wishlist appears to be experienced Borussia Monchengladbach keeper Yann Sommer.
Now 34, he has been regarded as one of the Bundesliga’s best keepers for a number of years.
His deal with Gladbach is due to expire at the end of the season. And, according to 90min, talks are underway at signing Sommer to a pre-contract agreement at Old Trafford.
Gladbach manager Daniel Farke, however, is keen to extend his goalkeeper’s stay. And the former Norwich boss has also warned United that his side have “no intention of letting him go”.
“I’m totally relaxed because there are always discussions about good players,” Farke said.
“He’s one of Europe’s best goalkeepers. He has a contract until the summer and we have no intention at all of letting him go.
“Why should we let such a goalkeeper go? There would have to be very, very good reasons for wanting to let such a quality player go. On the contrary, we want to extend the contract with Yann. There will be talks soon.
“We have one of the best goalkeepers in Europe under contract and we have ambitions. For that, we need Yann Sommer. Why would we let him go? There’s no reason for that at all.”