Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd could break transfer record in contingency plan after missing out on Gakpo transfer to Liverpool

Diogo Costa, Rafael Leao, Portugal, June 2022

Manchester United could flex their financial muscles after missing out to Liverpool on Cody Gakpo, by snaring goalkeeper Diogo Costa for a record fee.

Costa seems to have been in United’s thinking for a little while. Indeed, they have known to be admirers of the Porto stopper for some time.

Reports linking the goalkeeper with a switch to Old Trafford began in October.

It’s not hard to see why United are keen on Costa. At 23 years old, he is already the starting goalkeeper for his national side – Portugal.

He played in each of their games at the World Cup. While they bowed out in the quarter-finals, it would be harsh to say Costa had a poor tournament.

Indeed, he only conceded more than one goal in a game once during the tournament. While he had a nervy moment against Ghana, his side still managed to pull through in their opener.

His form at club level is probably one of the major reasons United, and other sides, have their eye on the goalkeeper.

In 33 league games last season, he conceded just 22 goals – which was the least across the league. He also kept 15 clean sheets over the course of the season.

This term, has continued in a similar vein. In 13 games in Liga Portugal so far, Costa has kept six clean sheets, meaning he and his Porto defence have stopped the opposition from scoring in almost half their games.

Diogo Costa could replace De Gea

Costa seems as if he could be an appropriate person for David De Gea to hand the baton of starting United keeper to.

Reports have revealed that Erik ten Hag would welcome the Portuguese at the club.

Contract discussions could mean De Gea is replaced sooner rather than later, too. Indeed, AS reports that an automatic extension of a year has been ‘exercised’ for some of United’s players.

Those include Luke Shaw, Marcus Rashford, Diogo Dalot and Fred. However, the same cannot be said for De Gea. Instead, they want the Spaniard’s earnings to be slashed.

United reportedly have no problem in keeping him at the club, but not at the massive wage he currently earns – reportedly £375,000 per week, and they would rather see him take a pay cut of £100,000.

That is apparently the main stumbling block with a new contract. If De Gea does not renew, he’ll be able to walk away from Old Trafford at the end of the season.

United could break transfer record for Diogo Costa

If that is to happen, United will want to have a replacement in place. With their interest in Costa, it would not be a surprise if that were to be him.

AS suggests United would ‘go for the signing of him’. That signing could well be a lucrative one and ‘could even break the transfer record’ for a goalkeeper.

His release clause is reportedly in the region of £65million. Chelsea holds the record for the most expensive goalkeeper signing – they splashed around £70million on Kepa Arrizabalaga.

It would not be a surprise if United paid around that for Costa. Doing so could be a statement that United are able to flex their financial muscles.

Money has never been a problem for United, and seeing the back of Cristiano Ronaldo means his wages are not burning a hole in United pockets.

They might want to spend big since missing out on Gakpo to rivals Liverpool, to show they can attract big talents to the club.

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