Football

Manchester United eye Real Madrid star to replace De Gea

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Manchester United are on the hunt for a new goalkeeper after Sir Alex Ferguson decided David De Gea is not cut out for the Premier League, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The Manchester United boss is prepared to go back into the market for a new goalkeeper, with Barcelona keeper Victor Valdes and Real Madrid stopper Iker Casillas topping the shortlist.

Valdes has revealed he will not renew his Barcelona contract when it expires in 18 months time, leading to speculation he could be tempted abroad. The report claims United will consider the 31-year-old, but Iker Casillas's uncertain future at Real Madrid means the Spanish number one is also a candidate.

Casillas was dropped by Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho earlier this month, and with Mourinho reportedly interested in bringing De Gea back to Spain, the opportunity could present itself to Ferguson to bring Casillas - widely regarded as the world's best keeper - to the Premier League.

Ferguson has also considered a number of alternatives including Stoke City's Asmir Begovic and Galatasaray's Fernando Muslera, but the Old Trafford manager is thought to see Valdes and Casillas as the outstanding candidates.

The report claims Ferguson finally lost patience with De Gea - a player the United staff rate highly - after his latest high-profile mistake cost United victory against Spurs last weekend.

The Spaniard's weak punch fell to the feet of Aaron Lennon, and the Spurs winger crossed for Clint Dempsey to score a last-minute equaliser at White Hart Lane.

De Gea has been rumoured to be willing to consider a return to Spain - his pop-star girlfriend Edurne Garcia Almagro still lives in Madrid - and Barcelona and Real Madrid are both reportedly monitoring the situation.

Ferguson and United goalkeeping coach Eric Steele believe the 22-year-old could yet become a world-class keeper, but his lack of progression since joining the club 18 months ago have cast doubt on his ability to adapt to the rigours of the Premier League.

Question marks remain over back-up Danish stopper Anders Lindegaard, but with United still pursuing three trophies the report suggests United will continue with De Gea until the end of the season.

At that stage, the club will consider the options available, with a mutually beneficial swap-deal with Madrid or Barcelona potentially still on the table.

Topics:
Football
Premier League
Manchester United

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