With David de Gea’s exit door now open as wide as it has been since 2015, when he was a working fax machine away from a transfer to Real Madrid, Manchester United are assessing their goalkeeper options, with a keen eye on Diogo Costa.
As reported by The Peoples Person yesterday, De Gea was not included in the club’s official retained list, sparking speculation that contract talks have stalled.
A free transfer is on the cards, with interest from Saudi Arabia potentially turning the Spaniard’s head while Erik ten Hag considers signing a shot stopper more suited to a proactive possession game.
And Diogo Costa certainly meets the manager’s requirements, with his distribution and command of his area impressing scouts across Europe. United’s were particularly keen, and were regular attendees at the Estadio Dragao last season.
While FC Porto signed Costa up to a new deal at the end of last year which increased his minimum fee release clause to an astonishing €75m, reports last week suggested that Man United could sway the Liga Portugal side to accept a lower offer.
With Porto needing €50m to balance their books by the end of the month, an opportunity looked to be ripe for the taking.
But according to Portuguese outlet CM Journal, the Azuis e brancos are unwilling to budge on their price and insist that Costa’ release clause be met in full should United want the keeper.
Given Man United’s need to strengthen several position with a limited transfer budget, that price does not appeal to the club.
The presence of other goalkeepers on the market who would be more affordable makes a deal for Costa appear even less likely.
David Raya is available at around £40m as earlier reports suggest that United are considering hijacking his proposed transfer to Tottenham Hotspur. A budget option would be Yann Sommer, potentially available for as little as £5m.
Meanwhile Andre Onana is also under consideration and – while he would not be any cheaper than Costa – his profile and standing in the game would be very attractive to Ten Hag, with whom he has previously worked with to great success.
But with Diogo Costa ticking so many boxes for the manager, Man United will certainly continue to monitor his situation. The fact that Porto have, according to Record, looking to sign Atlético Nacional goalkeeper Kevin Mier this summer, suggests that they are putting together a contingency plan for Costa’s departure.
Should they complete that signing, United could be encouraged test Porto’s resolve with an approach of some kind. Were a replacement for Costa already in their squad, negotiations would likely be more amiable.
Manchester United will be almost certainly be signing a goalkeeper this summer, given their lack of numbers in the position. But the amount they will be prepared to pay will ultimately be determined by how the David de Gea situation pans out and how far the club can stretch its budget with other positions.
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