In the end, David de Gea’s farewell was unceremonious, with his contract at Old Trafford running out on Friday night.
And the sands of time having had their day on his career at Manchester United, the club is looking in the desert for a new goalkeeper to fill the famous gloves.
Sports Mail understands that the Red Devils’ budget won’t stretch to a top striker and top-notch goalkeeper, so compromises will have to be made somewhere.
With United reducing their main attacking targets to Atalanta’s Rasmus Hojlund and Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani, the budget for the goalkeeping department looks more likely to be reduced.
To stay on the safe side of Financial Fair Play regulations, United are limiting themselves to a net spend of £100m across the squad, and Mason Mount’s impending £60m move won’t help. this regard.
David de Gea has been officially released by Manchester United, so who could replace him?
United’s £60million move for Mason Mount (pictured) has dented their transfer budget meaning they’ll have to be smart to pick a new goalkeeper at a cut price.
A lack of funds means the Old Trafford chiefs will have to find a suitable replacement for De Gea at a discount this summer, so which goalkeeper could they turn to?
Below, Mail Sport assesses some of United’s roster options.
Andre Onana (Inter Milan)
Inter are currently waiting for the Red Devils to make an offer for Cameroon goalkeeper Onana.
The former Ajax star, who served a nine-month football ban in 2021 after testing positive for a banned substance, is United’s top target after finding himself in the limelight.
He was a rock for Inter this season in their run to the Champions League final and knows Erik ten Hag from their time at Ajax together, where he won three Eredivisie titles.
However, the 27-year-old is locked behind a robust asking price of £45million and the Italian giants won’t want to let go of one of Europe’s best goalkeepers easily.
Andre Onana was crucial in Inter Milan’s run to the Champions League final this year
Just ask Chelsea how difficult it will be to get him away from Inter – a £40million offer has already been rejected.
A 76.4 save percentage last season is impressive, and his distribution should be an upgrade on de Gea, but if he signs the 6ft 3in star will also have to establish himself aerially from shots set pieces – given the former United No.1 often looked unsteady when under physical pressure.
Diogo Costa (Oporto)
United are reluctant to pay the huge £65million release clause included in Costa’s contract at Porto.
The 23-year-old has plenty of talent and admirers after a league season in which Porto conceded just 22 goals, with Costa keeping 16 clean sheets along the way.
His agent, Jorge Mendes, has strong links with the Premier League and Chelsea are also known to like the youngster.
At the start of June, it was understood that United were finalizing a proposal for the 14-cap Portugal international, but since then little news has materialized.
Porto want around £65m for Diogo Costa, a price that may prove beyond United’s reach
The reason? Costa’s asking price as things stand is simply too high for United if they also want to bring a name like Hojlund or Kolo Muani to the top.
If he turns out to be their main target, the Premier League club may have to sanction some sales to raise money for Costa.
Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt)
United’s desire for Trapp isn’t new, but for now it’s an unrequited love they hold – the 32-year-old goalkeeper having rejected a contract offer from them last summer in favor of staying in the Bundesliga.
It also doesn’t help that in February he signed a three-year contract extension with the club he won the Europa League with in 2022.
But the seven-cap Germany international is still seen as a consideration for United, and he is likely to be among the cheapest options on their list.
Kevin Trapp, 32, is a highly respected goalkeeper on the continent with seven Germany caps
The Mirror previously reported he would be available for around £10million, but given his age, it’s questionable whether Trapp would be a long-term mainstay between the sticks or more of a stopgap.
Nonetheless, he earned a reputation as one of the best in the Bundesliga by proving the bedrock of Frankfurt’s revolution, helping them set a record points total in 2020-21.
Justin Bijlow (Fyenoord)
Bijlow, a reliable force in Feyenoord’s charge for the Eredivisie title this season, has emerged as one of the most promising goalkeepers in European football.
Athletic have reported that United have launched an investigation for the 25-year-old, who kept 15 clean sheets last season and has eight Dutch caps to his name.
He would probably be a much cheaper alternative to Onana and Costa, who is one of his draws, but doesn’t have the same elite European status as the aforementioned goalkeepers.
Although given his extensive knowledge of Dutch football, Ten Hag might favor a move by his compatriot over some of the more experienced shooters in Europe.
Justin Bijlow won the 2022/23 Eredivisie with Feyenoord and started his career in the Netherlands
David Raya (Brentford)
David Raya wants to leave Brentford, don’t worry.
The sticking point is that the Bees don’t want him gone – no less than £40million, anyway, and he still has a year left on his contract at the Gtech Community Stadium.
The much-loved 27-year-old is good with his feet and has an interesting story, having worked his way from League One via a few promotions to become an established Premier League goalkeeper, illustrating the kind of hunger that ten Hag wants in his players.
Brentford have already signed Dutch goalkeeper Mark Flekken for £11m so it’s rational to believe they could show some flexibility here, but they’re unlikely to allow Raya to leave safely. market and therefore United’s hopes of securing his signature look increasingly dim.
David Raya has come through the Ligue 1 ranks and could adapt well to Ten Hag’s style of football
Djordje Petrovic (New England Revolution)
United are also believed to be tracking MLS goalkeeper Petrovic.
The Serbian star, 23, came second in voting for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2022.
This season he has kept six clean sheets for New England while conceding 24 goals in 19 games as his club sit third in the Eastern Conference.
He’s unlikely to make a direct move from MLS to the No.1 spot at one of the biggest clubs in the world, so while his price tag may be acceptable, bringing him in could leave United with less to do. spend on a first choice.
That said, the English giants need bodies through the door – Ten Hag has already blocked Tom Heaton from joining Luton for fear of ending up with injured Dean Henderson as an outside option.
Djordje Petrovic is a promising young goalkeeper but probably wouldn’t be the number 1 choice
Dean Henderson (Manchester United)
Although this list didn’t rank the goalkeepers, Henderson was left until the end for a very simple fact: his chances of replacing De Gea as United’s first-choice keeper are slim.
Nottingham Forest, who had Henderson on loan this season, want him back permanently, and the United academy graduate is said to be ‘bewildered’ by suggestions he could stay at United.
The 26-year-old has been injured since January, had to undergo thigh surgery, and could be out until August, leaving doubts as to whether he will even be ready for the start of the season.
Dean Henderson is a proven performer but has injury issues and ten Hags don’t favor him
Relations with ten Hag deteriorated after venting his frustrations last summer and the Dutch boss only had him for a training session before sending him on loan to Forest, where he played regularly until in January.
The big ‘but’ in all of this is that Henderson is clearly a talented goalkeeper and would cost United nothing, so there is food for thought.
Nonetheless, having seen the way ten Hag handled the Cristiano Ronaldo controversy early in his tenure, it’s clear he has no tolerance for dissent and Henderson would be walking an incredibly thin tightrope to restart his Under-16 prospects.