Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has decided to give former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes the chance to train with the first-team at the club's Carrington training ground.
Valdes had looked primed to join United's bitter Premier League rivals Liverpool on a free transfer just two weeks ago, but that deal has fallen through and he will now continue rehabilitation on a long-term knee injury with the Red Devils.
The 32-year-old is quite surprisingly still searching for a new club after deciding the time was right to leave Barcelona at the end of the season, with a knee injury suffered in March ultimately scuppering his plans to pursue a lucrative Bosman move to Monaco.
That means a man with six La Liga titles and three Champions League crowns to his name is still available for free, with United now poised to take advantage after confirming that their medical team will supervise the final stages of his bid to regain full fitness.
Proving fitness holds key to any deal
Van Gaal has handed Valdes a chance to impress in training because he wants genuine competition for places in between the sticks, despite the hugely impressive start to the season from current number one David de Gea.
The young Spaniard has blossomed at Old Trafford over the last 18 months, but Van Gaal is conscious that he needs to kept in check by a quality alternative and isn't sure Anders Lindegaard fits the bill.
Valdes will have to prove his fitness before any transfer could be sanctioned by United medical chiefs, but The Telegraph believe that there's a very strong possibility if he shows encouraging signs over the next two months he could be the first player signed by Van Gaal when the January window opens.
Liverpool left furious
Van Gaal allowing the 20-cap international to train with United probably puts an end to Liverpool's chances of adding a proven world-class goalkeeper to their ranks, despite months of negotiations with the Catalan star's representatives.
Valdes ultimately rejected the chance to go on trail with Liverpool, but has clearly decided he's running out of options and the lure of a potential reunion with Van Gaal justifies the same kind of agreement with United.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers still wants a stopper to rival Simon Mignolet, but thanks to a clever move from United he'll be forced to look elsewhere.
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