Spanish number one, Unai Simon, has reportedly rejected Manchester United’s advances to sign the player, in favour of staying in the Basque country.
According to fichajes.net, the 26-year-old keeper has rejected three teams to stay in Bilbao, and one of those sides was Manchester United.
The Peoples Person reported in the past that Simon was a potential option to replace David de Gea before the club eventually decided to bring in Andre Onana in the summer market.
The Basque-born keeper has played 15 games this season for Athletic Bilbao, conceding 18 goals in the process. Simon has also represented his national side 38 times since taking over the gloves in late 2020. (Stats via transfermarkt.com)
Fichajes claim that the shot-stopper rejected interest from United, Bayern Munich and Saudi Arabian teams in favour of staying loyal to Los Leones.
The report states that despite having a contract to 2025, the Basque club are desperate to try and tie down the man, who has played 173 times for the club, to a new long-term deal.
It says that the goalkeeper is a “fundamental” part of the team and that Simon has a “deep-rooted desire” to stay and fight for “the club of his heart”, despite the “tempting” offers he has received in the past.
Due to such positive circumstances, it is expected that the Spanish number one will agree to a new deal in the not-too-distant future, and no complications are expected in the process.
It is little wonder the Basque side is so keen to tie him down as Simon has been in fine form with an average Sofascore rating of 7.2 this season.
In October, the keeper was awarded with a 7.9 rating in a 1-0 loss against Barcelona. The keeper was credited with six saves with four coming inside the box.
With Manchester United’s new summer signing, Andre Onana, being under such heavy fire from the press after a series of high-profile mistakes, most recently against Galatasaray, it is normal that keepers who have been linked to the club in the past will be compared.
However, it is interesting to note that the Cameroonian keeper actually has a slightly higher season rating on Sofascore of 7.26 than Simon and he was recently credited with a mammoth 8.7 score and made five saves inside the box against Everton the weekend before last.
Onana’s major problem has been consistency and more specifically, making a series of high-profile blunders in the Champions League, as he has struggled to adapt to the high-pressure life of being United’s number one.
Whilst Erik ten Hag has recently claimed that the Cameroonian is “not undroppable”, it is unlikely Simon or any other keeper will take his spot just yet, as for better or worse, the Dutch coach seems desperate to make his expensive summer acquisition find some consistent form.