The goalkeeping department at Manchester United has seen huge personnel turnover this season from the senior team all the way down to the youth prospects.
However, the club might have experienced a feeling of “deja vu” as they look to have alienated another goalkeeper if comments by Matej Kovar are any indication.
The Czech goalkeeper, who moved to Bayer Leverkusen this summer for a fee of around £8 million, has called out the club for not giving him his desired move to Sparta Prague in an interview with Czech outlet Denik.
Kovar has been reported as saying that United’s dithering in replacing their No 1 slot for the senior team after David de Gea’s departure put his own future under a cloud.
He reveals that they tried to “knock on the coach’s, sporting director’s door” but he was told that he can’t leave as the club’s situation between the sticks wasn’t resolved.
Kovar pushed for a move to Sparta Prague, the club where he spent last year on loan.
He won the league title and established himself as a prospect to watch out for.
At Sparta, he would have played Champions League football this season. However, United’s delayed decision-making changed the preferred trajectory of his career.
Frustrated by the prolonged wait, Sparta moved on to other options and Kovar was only let go after there was clarity on Tom Heaton’s future, with Dean Henderson suffering the same fate as Kovar.
Ultimately, he was sold to Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen, where he is unlikely to be the first choice considering Lukas Hradecky is there already.
United retain a buy-back as well as a first-refusal clause in case Kovar makes good on his vast potential that excited United fans during the pre-season.
However, just like Henderson currently, they might have soured their relationship with him in the long run.