Manchester United’s goalkeeping conundrum has been under intense focus over the last week, with David de Gea’s contract yet to be signed off by the club.
Contingent on that deal being agreed upon by both parties, Dean Henderson looks set to complete a permanent switch to Nottingham Forest in a deal that could be worth in the region of £25m.
With De Gea’s recent mistakes and generally poor distribution over the course of the season, replacing the Spaniard as the club’s undisputed number one has been mooted as a possibility.
As reported by The Peoples Person, FC Porto’s current financial situation could see a deal for Diogo Costa become a realistic possibility, were United to go down that route.
But with a number of positions in need of immediate reinforcement, a marquee signing between the sticks appears somewhat unlikely.
Instead, a developmental goalkeeper could be brought in to rotate with – and eventually replace – the Golden Glove winner.
Bart Verbruggen has been linked with a switch to Old Trafford to fulfil exactly that role, with the 20-year-old impressing in his breakthrough season at Anderlecht.
The Dutchman has obvious potential and could develop into the kind of proactive goalkeeper that United have lacked over the last decade.
But according to journalist Alan Nixon (via Inside Futbol), Burnley have stolen a march on The Red Devils by submitting a £13m offer. Ex-Anderlecht boss Vincent Kompany believes he can persuade Verbruggen of the merits of a move to the newly promoted side given their past history.
The player is also understood to be hesitant of a move to a top Premier League side, realising that he is in need of regular first team football in order to improve his ability and standing in the game.
But with Ten Hag recently admitting that De Gea will not always be his first choice, there would be plenty of opportunity for Verbruggen to play and impress should United go in with a bid.
Manchester United played 62 matches in all competitions last term and are anticipating another busy schedule in their next campaign as they look to compete on multiple fronts again.
With that in mind, Ten Hag could succeed in luring Verbruggen to the club. Were he to do so, waiting for Burnley to open the bidding would be a shrewd move.
Last summer, Tyrell Malacia was signed for around £17m, with United swooping in just before Olympique Lyonnaise finalised a deal for the left back.
In doing so, The Red Devils avoided paying the ‘tax’ that their own entry into a bidding war often entails and helped the club wrap up a good bargain swiftly.
While the goalkeeper position at Old Trafford remains uncertain, there is no doubt that Erik ten Hag will consider every opportunity available to him as he looks to retool his squad such that it can comfortably play his preferred style of football.
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