Reports that Manchester United are about to sign Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel appear to be wide of the mark.
Another horrible season from United’s number one David de Gea has led to immense speculation about his future at Old Trafford despite the fact that his £375,000 per week contract runs until at least 2023.
And despite the fact that the 33-year-old Schmeichel made a howler that De Gea would have been proud of, gifting Jesse Lingard the goal that clinched United’s victory in the Premier League showdown with Leicester, The Sun is claiming that the Red Devils are looking to him to replace the Spaniard.
This seems such an unlikely story, even by The Sun’s standards.
The Dane’s contract at Leicester also runs until 2023 and the Foxes would have no reason to allow him to leave unless a ridiculous amount of money was offered.
United’s Dean Henderson is 10 years younger than Schmeichel and registered better statistics across nearly all significant markers than both the Leicester man and De Gea this season, so to overlook him and pay over the odds for a 33-year-old makes little sense.
It only really makes sense to someone who needs to sell newspapers with a sensational story. Having a Schmeichel between the posts at Old Trafford is a romantic notion but that ship has surely sailed until the next generation comes along.
The wording of reporter Duncan Wright’s article is revealing.
‘Manchester United are weighing up a shock move’ – ‘weighing up’ means nothing.
‘Leicester ace Schmeichel is seen as a ready-made option to come in’, but Wright does not say who this is ‘seen’ by; it could even be the journalist himself.
He continues ‘But the 2016 title winner, 33, would be relatively cheap to buy compared to Atletico Madrid’s highly-rated Jan Oblak, 27, who has a release clause of around £109 million’ – well, that is a given: an aging Ford Focus will cost significantly less than a more recent one, but it doesn’t make it a better deal.
There is also no evidence whatsoever that United are in for Oblak in any case, nor whether Atleti would demand the buyout clause should be met if they were.
Yet none of this has stopped many major papers and fansites both in England and abroad running with The Sun’s story.
It is of course true that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a tough decision to make about De Gea, who was ranked 15 out of 20 Premier League goalkeepers by sofascore.com despite United having kept 13 clean sheets. But to suggest that at 23, Dean Henderson is too young to take over from the Spaniard makes little sense. After all, Sir Alex Ferguson bought De Gea when he was just 21 and had no Premier League experience whatsoever.
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