By Tom Parker
According to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo, Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea heads the list of targets drawn up by Barcelona’s board after current number one Victor Valdes announced his intentions to leave the Spanish club in the near future.
Other potential names include Valencia’s Victor Guaita, Roma’s Maarten Stekelenburg, and Premier League ‘keepers Pepe Reina and Hugo Lloris.
Barcelona have allegedly made De Gea their top target and his superb distribution would certainly compliment the Catalonian clubs style of playing out from the back. De Gea is also rated as one of the best shot-stoppers in the league and has been in fine form this season with his performance at Tottenham Hotspur today one of his best so far.
De Gea has enjoyed a solid 12 months at United where he has looked as good as anyone in the division after a tumultuous start to his united career. The debut season of the 20-year-old came with plenty of ups and downs with a few high-profile errors in the early stages of the season, before a string of impressive performances in the second half of the season.
Sadly, despite being one of the best goalkeepers in the world in 2012, De Gea seems to suffer from a witch-hunt from various media outlets with any mistakes being highlighted time and time again, while Joe Hart’s numerous errors get precious little air-time.
The Spaniard has always been highly-rated in his homeland and is seen by most as Iker Casillas’ successor for the Spanish national team.
De Gea is also thought of highly at United. Speaking about him in June 2011, United’s goalkeeping coach Eric Steele said:
“He’s just a unique talent. Ultimately, I think they come around in cycles. Iker Casillas was 17 when he got in the Real Madrid team and I saw Gianluigi Buffon when he was 17.
“The qualities we’ve all seen, and the manager has seen, have ticked the boxes. There is always an element of ‘can they handle 76,000 at Old Trafford?’ but I’ve seen him play at the Nou Camp and win man of the match. Not fazed.”
The paper claims that United will accept around €25 million for De Gea which would represent a loss on the fee paid to Atletico Madrid last summer but it seems unlikely that Sir Alex Ferguson would lose a player he paid a substantial amount of money for, particularly as De Gea has enormous potential.