Erik ten Hag had quite the job on his hands when he took over as Manchester United boss. From strengthening the squad to improving players, so far the Dutchman has proved quite adept at his new role.
The Red Devils seem to be on the right track as they lie just three points from third place with a game in hand while they have also qualified for the next stage in the Europa League.
However, the job is far from complete as Ten Hag still has quite a few problem positions to fill as he seeks to mould the squad in his own image.
The former Ajax coach has time and again backed David de Gea to come good and adapt to his methods which involves acting as a sweeper-keeper when need be while also proving to be adept with the ball at his feet.
Augsburg goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz has revealed that Manchester United and Newcastle United were both interested in his services during the summer transfer window. pic.twitter.com/TvwzcZJuTP
— 97.8 Kazo FM Omushomesa (@978KazoFM) November 4, 2022
Apart from the Brighton howler, the Spaniard seems to be on the right track and has also been really good between the sticks in the last two games, pulling off quite a few astounding saves.
However, United are still to activate the one-year extension clause with his contract expiring next summer. A lot of alternatives including Jan Oblak, Diogo Costa have been mooted as possible alternatives.
There are also doubts surrounding the long-term future of Dean Henderson, currently on loan at Nottingham Forestm especially after his explosive interview at the start of the season.
Reports have already indicated that Martin Dubravka is set to return to his parent club Newcastle United after the conclusion of his loan spell and that means a new goalie is of utmost importance.
The latest revelation comes from Canal+Sport via Sport Witness which states that the Red Devils were on course to bringing in Augsburg goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz in the summer instead of Dubravka.
It was almost like the domino effect as both United and Newcastle had their eyes on the 35-year-old who revealed that a move to the Premier League failed to materialise despite signing documents with both clubs ahead of a potential transfer.
Gikiewicz was close to sealing OT move
“Not only was I linked, but I also signed various powers of attorney with either Manchester United or Newcastle United,” Gikiewicz said.
“In the goalkeeper market, everything works like dominoes. As Martin Dubravka leaves, this is the place and so on.
“They called me from England and asked if I wanted to take a risk. At the same time, they added that something could happen in the last hours of the transfer window and whether I wanted to take a risk.
“I was sitting at home, so what’s the risk? I signed everything and waited for the development of events.”
According to the Polish goalie, had the Reds failed to agree a deal with the Slovakian, it could have been him sitting at Old Trafford. And because Eddie Howe’s side lost the Dubravka, Gikiewicz was considered as a potential replacement.
What transpired instead was Karl Darlow retained his spot as Newcastle’s second choice behind Nick Pope while former Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius arrived on a short-term contract after Pope’s injury.
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