- Spanish keeper seeing deal run down
- Long-term replacement required
- Red Devils identifying January targets
WHAT HAPPENED? Questions are once again being asked of long-term plans at Old Trafford when it comes to the goalkeeping department, with Spanish shot-stopper De Gea approaching the end of a contract that includes the option for a 12-month extension through to 2024. If fresh terms are not to be thrashed out by United with their long-serving No.1, then Saha believes a move to lure Senegal international Mendy – who has fallen behind Kepa Arrizabalaga in the pecking order at Chelsea but was named UEFA Goalkeeper of the Season in 2021 – could prove beneficial to all concerned.
WHAT THEY SAID: The former Red Devils striker has told Football Odds and Betting: “De Gea is still right at the top level, but of course making mistakes like he did against Everton is never good. Over the years, De Gea has done tremendous performances to save the team and he deserves the time and credit for that. If De Gea doesn’t sign a new contract then a move for Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy would make perfect sense. He has been one of the best goalkeepers in the world the last few years and I’m not sure what happened.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: United are currently in the process of identifying transfer targets for the January window, with Netherlands international striker Wout Weghorst – who is on loan at Besiktas from Burnley – reportedly being lined up to fill an attacking void created by Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure. Saha added on moves to sign another forward: “Hearing rumours for Wout Weghorst is a bit of a surprise, but I won’t get excited this transfer window because it’s not like there’s a £100m striker who we’re gambling on signing. It’s good that he’s already used to the Premier League, it is very dangerous when players join from abroad - especially for big money - but someone like Joao Felix could bring something completely different straight away. Filling in the gap with someone like Weghorst is maybe not the right option. I also heard about Vincent Aboubakar - it’s not what I expect to happen and I’d rather see [Erik] ten Hag try and continue to get the best out of [Marcus] Rashford and [Anthony] Martial.”
IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty
WHAT NEXT? United have enjoyed a remarkable run of form before and after the 2022 World Cup break, claiming seven successive victories in all competitions and suffering only one defeat in their last 17 games. The Red Devils will be back in action on Tuesday when facing Charlton in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals – before then taking in a Premier League derby date with arch-rivals Manchester City on Saturday.