When Erik ten Hag decided to take over as the new Manchester United boss, he knew of the massive rebuilding job that he had agreed to take upon himself.
The squad had quite a few gaping holes, not least in defence and midfield, which have been plugged for the time being thanks to a few impeccable buys in the summer.
United splurged their cash on five permanent signings and one loan signing and the temporary recruitment has raised quite a few eyebrows.
United’s goalkeeping conundrum
Ten Hag had identified the Spanish international as an area of weakness considering his frailty with the ball at his feet and his inability to play as sweeper-keeper, a trait that most modern goalkeepers have in their armoury.
So far, the Slovakian has not managed to usurp the Spaniard and has been content with one competitive outing and it does not look like United will make the move permanent.
BUILD DOMINIK LIVAKOVIC A STATUE IN CROATIA 🇭🇷
No keeper has made more saves than him at the World Cup 🧤 pic.twitter.com/INzKxq00cd
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 9, 2022
The Mirror have now revealed that the Red Devils had the chance to snatch Croatia’s World Cup hero Dominik Livakovic from Dinamo Zagreb for between €5million and €10million.
However, due to the amounts already spent on other areas, they chose to bring in a loan replacement in the form of the Magpies keeper.
United will not find it easy anymore after what he has done in Qatar. “That asking price could soon go up, though, after his heroics took Zlatko Dalic’s team within 90 minutes of a second successive World Cup final,” the report added.
According to The Athletic, the 20-time English champions were one of three Premier League clubs who could have moved for Livakovic over the summer.
Livakovic could have been at Old Trafford
The other two were Nottingham Forest, who brought in Dean Henderson on loan from United, and Leicester City who have Danny Ward as their No 1.
Livakovic has impressed one and all with his breathtaking displays. Not many would have given the finalists from 2018 a chance to reach the last four.
But the goalkeeper has ensured his team are on the verge of recreating history. The 27-year-old has kept two clean sheets in the group stage, including a shut-out against Belgium, who had registered16 shots on target.
Two penalty-shoot-out victories against Japan and favourites Brazil followed with Livakovic saving three out of four against the Asian side while he saved Rodrygo’s spot-kick in the quarterfinal.
Croatia coach Dalic paid his keeper the ultimate compliment, “When it came to penalties, I knew Brazil had lost the game. I knew we were favourites then. We always win when it comes to penalties.”