Manchester United’s search for a new goalkeeper amid David de Gea’s contract wobble continues, with Feyenoord’s Justin Bijlow parachuting on Erik ten Hag’s list of targets.
According to Dutch news outlet 1908, the 25-year-old has become a ‘concrete’ target for the Red Devils as negotiations to land Inter Milan’s Andre Onana require more effort than expected.
De Gea is formally a free agent today after failing to agree new terms at Old Trafford despite being locked in talks with the club for months.
While Man United reportedly plan face-to-face discussions with their long-serving stalwart, it’s evident that the Spaniard would be a back-up option next season if he stays given Ten Hag’s pursuit of Onana.
Ten Hag wants a modern-day goalkeeper, capable of helping his team build from the back and well-versed in filling a sweeper-keeper role if needed, which rules out de Gea as next season’s first choice.
Recent reports suggest talks between United and Inter over Onana’s switch to the Premier League are ‘progressing quickly‘, but a new player has joined the table.
Bijlow’s standout performances for Feyenoord have recently earned him a place in the national team, as he was the Netherlands’ first-choice keeper in the Nations League finals.
He has been a first-team regular at De Kuip in the past few seasons, racking up 119 competitive appearances for the newly-crowned Eredivisie champions and recording 45 clean sheets.
Bijlow suffered an injury-hit campaign in 2022/23 but still tallied 12 shut-outs across 25 league starts for Arne Slot’s side.
Considering his significance to the team’s success last season, it’s no wonder Feyenoord are desperate to keep hold of their homegrown star, whose contract expires in 2025.
They are working behind the smokescreen to tie Bijlow down to a new deal, but with Man Utd plotting a summer swoop for the Dutchman, their efforts could go in vain.
However, much will depend on the outcome of the ongoing saga over Onana’s long-anticipated move to the Theatre of Dreams.
If the Red Devils fail to convince Inter to sell, the Feyenoord stopper’s chances of taking a quantum leap in his career will grow significantly.
His market value reportedly stands at €15 million, three times less than Man United would have to pay Inter to sign the Cameroonian.
Bijlow may be United’s back to Onana, or he may also be United’s back-up to De Gea if the Spaniard refuses to accept a backup role at the club.
Ten Hag could easily bring in two new goalkeepers this summer and have them compete for the starting XI – which would then also mean Tom Heaton being allowed to leave.
It all depends on De Gea.
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