Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag wants a new goalkeeper that can genuinely challenge David de Gea for a starting spot, according to The Athletic.
The Red Devils loaned out Dean Henderson to Nottingham Forest earlier this summer, and there has since been an outburst from the England star criticising the club.
Henderson did not hold out from expressing his frustration, and said that he was like a ‘caged animal‘ after being forced to play second fiddle to De Gea last campaign.
After his explosive interview, Ten Hag reportedly understood as to what kind of keeper that United loaned out and he is now eyeing a like-for-like replacement in the squad.
United have set a budget of £7 million plus £35,000-a-week in wages for a new number two, but are prepared to increase funds if they can find the right player this summer.
Leeds United’s Illan Meslier is reportedly considered as a long-term replacement for De Gea, but a deal seems unlikely with the Yorkshire outfit having no plans of selling him.
Ten Hag could be having second thoughts over De Gea’s position
De Gea had a superb 2021/22 campaign for the Red Devils where he barely put a foot wrong. He made several stand-out saves which contributed to several points in the league.
Despite this, there have been doubts whether De Gea could be a long-term solution under Ten Hag, considering the Dutchman prefers shot-stoppers that are pretty mobile.
Regular sweeping actions and high claims are among attributes that Ten Hag demands from his keepers. The Dutch tactician also prefers his number one to be a strong distributor.
Last weekend, De Gea came out of the box on just one occasion, as per The Athletic. His short passing was decent, but the same can’t be said about his long range distribution.
Meanwhile, the Spaniard continues to remain hesitant to make high claims. There are no surprises that Ten Hag wants a solid deputy that can compete for a spot in the first XI.
Henderson would have been perfect for the role, but the 25-year-old recently confirmed that he decided to leave without playing under Ten Hag as the manager would have kept him.
It remains to be seen whom United pursue in the coming weeks. Watford’s Daniel Bachmann could re-emerge as an option. United previously refused to negotiate a permanent deal.
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