Manchester United have given David De Gea four months to prove himself as the club's number one, but Sir Alex Ferguson is ready to turn to Stoke City keeper Asmir Begovic if De Gea fails to convince, according to The Sun.

Pressure is mounting on De Gea after a series of high-profile mistakes this season have cost United points in the Premier League.

His latest mishap, against Southampton on Wednesday, saw United fall behind after just two minutes - but Michael Carrick has since taken responsibility for the error, and United recovered to win the match 2-1. The 22-year-old was also at fault after his weak punch led to a late Spurs equaliser last month, costing the Old Trafford side two points at White Hart Lane.

Still, United are willing to give De Gea four months - until the end of the season - to convince the club that he's the right man to be number one.

But contingency plans are already being drawn up in the event that De Gea fails to cut out the mistakes that plague his game - with Stoke shot-stopper Begovic the man lined up to replace the Spaniard.

The 25-year-old Bosnian international has been in superb form for the Potters this season, and was linked with a move to United during the transfer window.

Stoke completed the £4m capture of teenage England goalkeeper Jack Butland, possibly paving the way for the summer departure of Begovic.

Butland will spend the rest of the season on loan at former club Birmingham, before starting his Stoke career at the end of the season.

And the report claims United are weighing up a move for Begovic in the summer - in the hope that Tony Pulis's side will be more willing to sell now they have Butland as a back-up plan.

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