Manchester United have been dealt a major blow in their transfer activity.
It is an open secret that the Red Devils and manager Erik ten Hag were lining up Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa as David de Gea‘s number-one replacement.
There have been a number of questions surrounding the suitability of De Gea to Ten Hag’s system.
While he is a brilliant shot-stopper, the Spaniard is limited in his ability to play with his feet and to initiate sweeping action.
He has shown glimpses of his improvement in these areas recently, but it is an undeniable fact that there are better options out there, hence the constant links to Porto’s Costa.
However, United have been dealt a major blow in their pursuit of the Portuguese even before the transfer window arrives.
Costa has signed a new long-term contract with Porto.
The Liga Nos giants have officially announced that their highly-coveted player has put pen to paper on fresh terms that will keep him at the Estádio do Dragão until 2027.
— FC Porto (@FCPorto) November 3, 2022
Costa initially had a relatively decent €60m release clause, and for a club like United, this was deemed as extremely friendly especially considering the player’s young age.
After Peter Schmeichel, Edwin van der Sar and David de Gea, Diogo Costa has everything it takes to be Manchester United’s next great goalkeeper. For a €60m release clause, that’s guaranteed value for the next decade between the sticks. https://t.co/xSyTGNkCOY
— Zach Lowy (@ZachLowy) November 3, 2022
Upon signing a new contract, Porto have put into a place a larger and more hefty sum required to pry their prized possession from their hands.
As per Portuguese outlet A Bola, Costa’s new release clause is an astronomical €75m.
His extended contract time also means that Porto are now firmly in the driving seat for negotiations with any elite club looking to procure Costa’s services.
It remains to be seen what course of action the United hierarchy takes. Will they persist in their chase for Costa, or will they be put off by this giant setback and move on to other targets?