What’s the latest transfer news involving Tom Heaton?
The Telegraph have reported that the 35-year-old is closing in on a free transfer to return to Old Trafford in the upcoming transfer window.
The 6 foot 2 goalkeeper recovered from a cruciate ligament knee injury that kept him out for 311 days according to Transfermarkt, to become back-up for Emi Martinez who signed for Aston Villa last summer from Arsenal.
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Have Man United moved swiftly to get the deal done?
Heaton’s contract at Villa Park is set to expire next month and United have been able to enter talks with him over a pre-contract, based on reports from the Telegraph.
The club are reportedly moving ‘swiftly’ to secure Heaton as a replacement for Sergio Romero who has attracted the interest of newly appointed Roma manager Jose Mourinho, among other Serie A clubs.
Has Heaton played for Man United before?
Heaton began his career at United, but never actually made an appearance for the Red Devils. After a series of loan moves to the likes of Cardiff, Wycombe and QPR, he was then released from Man United and settled down at Bristol City in the Championship.
However, his six-year spell at Burnley was where he cemented himself as a solid Premier League goalkeeper. According to Fbref, the England international has kept 28 top-flight clean sheets in his Premier League career.
Heaton has also made three appearances for the England national team and was on standby for Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad in 2018.
Is he being signed to replace David De Gea?
There have been somewhat mixed reports about the future of the 30-year-old, with some suggesting he will remain at United and others stating he will leave the club this summer.
According to the Telegraph, Heaton will be signed as third choice goalkeeper behind the Spaniard and Dean Henderson, which would mean that De Gea would have to continue to fight for a starting place.
However, reports from the Mirror say that De Gea is surplus to requirements at United after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted to hand Henderson the number one spot.
Regardless of the rumours around the 30-year-old’s future, according to Spotrac he is United’s highest earner on £375k per week which is an extortionate wage for a backup goalkeeper. It would seem illogical to keep him at Man United, although finding another club willing to meet his wage demands could also be tricky.