Stalwart goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar turned 40 years old last week, and while former Manchester United understudy Ben Foster remarked that the Dutchman is so fit that he could play another three or four years, United may be close to firming up its future in goal.
According to The Sunday Mirror, Manchester United already have opened up talks to bring 19-year-old phenom David De Gea of Atletico Madrid to Old Trafford. De Gea, widely touted as the eventual successor to Iker Casillas in net for the Spanish national team, has been massively impressive in his young career — particularly for his aptitude on penalty kicks. He even saved a Diego Milito effort in the UEFA Super Cup to begin this season.
Atletico, however, also feature 21-year-old Sergio Asenjo — which makes De Gea expendable, and potentially a great source of profit.
Manchester United also have been linked to internationals Maarten Stekelenburg and Anders Lindegaard, and many have speculated about moves for stars like Hugo Lloris, Igor Akinfeev and even Liverpool’s Pepe Reina. Ultimately though, it looks like De Gea will be the successor to Van der Sar.
See some of De Gea’s highlights below.
Goalkeepers aside, United seem to be making a play for yet another Belgian international midfielder. Recent reports have linked United to Steven Defour of Standard Liege. Now, it appears that they are targeting fellow Belgian Eden Hazard of Lille.
Hazard is just 19 and already has become a fixture on the senior international squad, been first team in France’s Ligue 1 for a season, twice won Ligue 1’s Young Player of the Year award and drawn comparisons to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. His price tag is expected to be about $19.3 million (12 million pounds).
United are expected to spend up to $160.7 million (100 million pounds) in the relative near future, starting in January’s transfer window, despite Alex Ferguson‘s claim that the team won’t be spending in January.
See some of Hazard’s highlights below.