Manchester United have reportedly agreed a deal with Tom Heaton to sign the veteran goalkeeper following his release from Aston Villa.
The 35-year-old will move back to Old Trafford on a free transfer once his Villa Park contract expires. He will join a keeper set-up that is currently strong, although it’s highly likely that one of David de Gea or Dean Henderson will move on once Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirms who is No.1 is for next season.
Former England stopper Heaton actually began his career with the Red Devils back in 2002. He eventually left three years later having never made a start for the club.
The report in the Daily Mirror claims that the former Burnley man will now resume his career in Manchester. However, he has not made a first-team appearance since January 1 2020. Heaton suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury for Villa against the Clarets.
The injury also saw him lose his place to Emi Martinez at Villa, who arrived from Arsenal last summer.
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Heaton made four appearances for Villa’s Under-23 side last season but that wasn’t enough to warrant a new contract.
Despite his lack of game time, United view Heaton as a risk-free signing, given the lack of fee involved.
Third-choice stopper Sergio Romero is also expected to quit Old Trafford this summer. That could mean the veteran actually becomes a valued member of the Red Devils squad going forward.
Solskjaer gives Maguire fitness update
Meanwhile, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has given an update on skipper Harry Maguire’s chances of facing Villarreal in Wednesday night’s Europa League final.
The centre-back, who has been named in Gareth Southgate’s provisional England squad for the Euros, has not played since suffering an ankle injury on May 9 against Aston Villa. However, he has travelled with the United squad for the showpiece event in Gdansk, Poland.
He said: “Harry’s here, he’s travelled with us. There’s another session to go and we’ll see how he is.
“We’re hoping he’ll be available but the main focus is for the players who are out there fit to enjoy the session today and be ready for tomorrow”
As for his team selection for the big game, Solskjaer was playing his cards close to his chest.
He added: “It’s always difficult to leave players out. But throughout the whole season, a final is a reward for what you’ve done the whole season. Then if there’s a doubt between a couple then it’s the form in the latter stages.
“We’ll enjoy the last session and the players will get the team tomorrow.”