Manchester United goalkeeper Altay Bayindir is being linked with a departure from the club at the end of his debut season – and the destination he is being tipped for will raise some eyebrows.
Bayindir was one of two new goalkeepers Man Utd acquired during the summer transfer window, when they brought him in from Fenerbahce. However, the hierarchy was always clear that Andre Onana would be the first choice starter and Bayindir would be his deputy.
And although he is under contract at Old Trafford until 2027, he may be presented with an opportunity to leave Man Utd in the summer of 2024.
According to a sensational report by Fotomac, Bayindir has become an option for Galatasaray – the arch-rivals of his former club, Fenerbahce.
Galatasaray’s starting goalkeeper is still Fernando Muslera, who is 37 years old and out of contract at the end of the season.
Fotomac explains that Muslera is still performing well – keeping clean sheets in half of his 12 Super Lig appearances so far this season – but Galatasaray are delaying a decision about whether to offer him a new deal.
If his standards drop and they decide to invest in a long-term successor, they could consider Bayindir as a target.
And despite the four years he spent at Fenerbahce, the 25-year-old is tipped to be open to the move to Galatasaray.
That said, he is not the only option on their shortlist, since they are also supposedly considering Juan Musso from Atalanta.
Musso would be worth €6m by virtue of his contract expiring in 2025, whereas the report does not mention what Bayindir might cost (the fee for Man Utd in the summer was €5m).
First of all, Galatasaray will decide what to do with Muslera. If he maintains his current form, they could offer him a one-year contract extension, with the option of an additional 12 months.
Man Utd need stability in backup role
The alternative scenario could see Man Utd lose one of their recent signings, forcing them to find a new backup goalkeeper again.
That role in their squad has been something of a revolving door in recent years, particularly since Sergio Romero was frozen out in 2020 upon the reintegration of Dean Henderson.
Last season, they initially took Martin Dubravka on loan from Newcastle United, but the move was cancelled halfway through and Jack Butland came in on a short-term deal to support David de Gea until they both left in the summer.
Before that, Henderson was hoping to push De Gea for the starting berth, but a lack of promises about a no.1 role eventually led him away from the club and to Crystal Palace in the summer after a loan spell with Nottingham Forest.
It remains to be seen who Man Utd might replace Bayindir with if the time comes, but it is understandable after being a no.1 at Fenerbahce why he might not exactly be happy with how Erik ten Hag has only been using Onana so far.