Manchester United are close to making former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes their first signing of the January transfer window.
Mundo Deportivo understand that United have offered Valdes a contract until the end of the season and beyond, while the Daily Mail believe the Spain international has already agreed a two-year deal to join the Premier League giants after leaving the Camp Nou last summer.
Valdes has been training with Manchester United since October, but United boss Louis van Gaal refused to confirm speculation that the experienced goalkeeper would sign a contract with the Red Devils when quizzed last month.
Van Gaal performs U-turn
Despite accusing the media of “inventing stories”, it seems Van Gaal has decided to sign Valdes to provide Manchester United’s first-choice goalkeeper David de Gea with some additional competition.
But United supporters might be concerned that Van Gaal’s decision to sign Valdes, coupled with the club’s struggle to tie De Gea down to a new long-term contract, could indicate that the latter will leave Old Trafford in the near future.
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David de Gea
De Gea’s contract expires next year, and speculation is rife that Real Madrid will attempt to sign the 24-year-old Spaniard this summer to replace the ageing Iker Casillas.
Despite his early struggles at Old Trafford, De Gea is now widely considered one of the Premier League’s top two or three goalkeepers - as well as one of the best in Europe.
Losing the former Atletico Madrid starlet would be an almighty blow for the Red Devils, whose fans are desperate to see their current No. 1 commit his future to the club after a superb first half of the season.
Valdes to make debut v Cambridge United?
With Manchester United not competing in European competition - and with De Gea the club’s undisputed first-choice keeper - it seems likely that Valdes will only appear in the FA Cup this season.
The Red Devils recorded a 2-0 win over Yeovil Town on Sunday to book their place in the fourth round of the competition, where they take on League Two side Cambridge United.
This development comes as a major blow to Liverpool, who had hopes to sign Valdes as a replacement for the out-of-sorts Simon Mignolet.