Manchester United are set to sign a goalkeeper from AZ Alkmaar this summer, potentially as a replacement for Victor Valdes, whose career at Old Trafford appears to be over.
This is according to well-connected journalist Andy Mitten, whose latest column in the Manchester Evening News states that the Red Devils are expected to sign a young keeper from Louis van Gaal’s former employers.
Although the player in question isn’t named, several media outlets - including the M.E.N themselves - have put two-and-two together and believe it could be 19-year-old Nick Olij.
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Olij is a highly-rated Dutch youth international believed to have a bright future ahead of him in the sport.
Although the goalkeeper, who turns 20 next month, has been training with AZ’s first team - and was even named amongst the substitutes on several occasions last season - he is yet to make his Eredivisie debut.
Olij has, though, made appearances for the Netherlands Under-19 side and caught the eye of scouts.
Valdes' relationship with Van Gaal in tatters
Van Gaal stunned Manchester United fans on Monday by leaving former Barcelona goalkeeper Valdes out of his 26-man squad for the club’s pre-season tour of the United States.
The veteran Dutch coach told journalists on Wednesday that he had decided to leave Valdes at home after he refused to play for the club’s reserve side last season.
After being hung out to dry by his manager, Valdes posted this tweet on Thursday morning, and it’s safe to say the relationship between the two men is now beyond repair.
However, this isn’t the first time that something similar has happened between Valdes and Van Gaal.
Something similar happened in 2002
Back in 2002, Valdes was infuriated by the then-Barcelona head coach Van Gaal after being dropped to the club’s ‘B’ team having been promoted to the first-team squad months earlier.
Valdes went home and refused to answer his phone, feeling humiliated by his manager.
But the incident cost Valdes, who was fined €12,000 and forced to issue an apology in order to save his Barcelona career.
Thirteen years later and it seems unlikely that the two will bury the hatchet this time around.
Valdes will be sold this summer, according to Van Gaal, with Valencia a possible destination for the 33-year-old.
No wonder Manchester United are so keen to keep David de Gea for another season.
Manchester United fans: will you be sad to see Victor Valdes leave Old Trafford? Know anything about Nick Olij? Tell us by leaving a comment in the box below!