Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ten Hag delight with new Man Utd target ‘keen’ on move, as summer signing faces immediate competition

Inter striker Lautaro Martinez and Benfica goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos

Inter striker Lautaro Martinez closes down Benfica goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos

Manchester United have learned that new goalkeeper target Odysseas Vlachodimos would be eager to join the club, should they reach an agreement for him with Benfica – though recent signing Andre Onana might not be happy about the transfer.

Man Utd no longer have David de Gea on their books, as the Spaniard was allowed to leave on a free transfer following the expiry of his contract earlier this summer. Manager Erik ten Hag did not trust De Gea to play out from the back and therefore pushed Man Utd chiefs to find a replacement.

This saw Onana join the Red Devils from Inter in a £47million move last month. The Cameroon international has already impressed with his long-range passing ability, but he was also lucky not to give away a penalty in the season opener against Wolves.

Dean Henderson is the current backup to Onana, while veteran keeper Tom Heaton is also in Ten Hag’s squad. However, Crystal Palace are pushing to sign Henderson, while Ten Hag does not want to be relying on Heaton too often as he is now 37 years old and in the twilight period of his career.

Ten Hag is hoping to bring in a second, top-class keeper who can challenge Onana for his starting place. The Dutchman appears to have been inspired by Mikel Arteta at Arsenal, who can now benefit from using both Aaron Ramsdale and new arrival David Raya.

On Monday, Fabrizio Romano revealed Man Utd to be interested in Benfica star Vlachodimos as a potential solution to their keeper void. Vlachodimos has been identified as the top target to replace Henderson at Old Trafford.

READ MORE: Final two Man Utd signings named, with Ten Hag to axe four to make room

During an interview with CaughtOffside, Romano has provided a slight update on the situation. He states that the Greece international would be ‘keen’ on signing for Man Utd, should he be presented with such an opportunity.

“I think there’s [a] good chance for Manchester United to activate [the] Odysseas Vlachodimos deal in the next [few] days, maybe next week,” the journalist said.

Man Utd target ‘keen’ on transfer, says Fabrizio Romano

“Talks have been positive on [the] player side, he’s keen on the move. It now depends on [the] final conditions from Benfica… and of course, on Dean Henderson as he has to leave. Crystal Palace are ahead of [Nottingham] Forest [in the race] for him now.”

Ten Hag will be very happy to hear that Vlachodimos wants to join Man Utd. This means that personal terms should be relatively easy to sort out.

 

Of course, Man Utd must first finalise an agreement with Benfica. And all signs indicate this will not be straightforward.

Vlachodimos is known to be one of the best keepers in Portugal, having kept 28 clean sheets in 54 appearances last season.

He is 29 years old, which is widely considered the peak for a keeper. Plus, he has three years remaining on his contract with Benfica.

These factors suggest Man Utd will have to pay a premium in order to bring the 33-cap international to England. The transfer fee is likely to be far higher than the €16m (£13.6m) valuation transfermarkt have given him.

Nevertheless, Man Utd are likely to pay whatever price is needed as they have repeatedly shown they are willing to back Ten Hag with the transfers he desires.

Meanwhile, Mason Greenwood could link up with two Liverpool icons when departing Man Utd, according to a report.