Sir Alex Ferguson is ready to ditch David de Gea – and buy a new goalkeeper in January, reports the Daily Mirror.

The Manchester United boss has privately held doubts over the Spaniard's ability to make the number one spot his own, with the 22-year-old having struggled to handle the physical nature of the Premier League.

De Gea and Anders Lindegaard have been chopped and changed numerous times this season, but both have struggled to establish themselves between the sticks at Old Trafford.

Now, Ferguson is hurriedly looking round for a replacement at the right price, who will also be eligible to play for Manchester United in the Champions League.

The Scot has already spoken to Red Devils supremo David Gill and the club's American owners about funding a first-choice stopper in the mid-season transfer window, with Stoke City's Asmir Begovic and Liverpool's Pepe Reina both believed to be under consideration.

Manchester United splashed out around £17million on De Gea when Ferguson took a chance on his potential, and signing him from Atletico Madrid.

His fragility under pressure has not gone away, though, and now De Gea is often targeted by opposition when it comes to set pieces and high balls, with his lack of physique a continuous problem.

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