Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is considering an approach to sign a Brighton star in 2023 – but the prospective deal is likely to hit the Red Devils hard in the pocket.
The Dutch coach is the man entrusted by United’s decision-makers to turn around the club’s fortunes. After a dismal season last time, Ten Hag was handed the reigns – and with it a thoroughly-difficult task. However, the early signs have been good with Ten Hag helping United up to fifth before the break for the World Cup.
Indeed, inconsistencies aside, promising wins over the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham point to a bright future under Ten Hag.
But the United boss has had to deal with an unwanted storm of late, thanks to the untimely Cristiano Ronaldo interview. In his wide-ranging interview – given to TV personality and journalist, Piers Morgan – Ronaldo has torn into everything about Manchester United.
Outlining his disrespect too for Ten Hag, Ronaldo has seemingly well and truly burned his bridges at Old Trafford.
United defender Raphael Varane on Wednesday became the first player to speak out about the interview.
And finding a new striker to replace Ronaldo has suddeny become a priority issue for Ten Hag and United. Indeed, the likes of Kylian Mbappe have been suggested for a potential move, though this Brazil striker looks far more realistic.
As a result, the issue threatens to cloud over some other pressing issues at Old Trafford, namely the goalkeeper situation.
With David De Gea’s deal due to expire on July 1, United are considering whether to activate the one-year option on his deal.
United keen on Robert Sanchez as De Gea replacement
Alternatively, he could also be allowed to depart as a free agent, with Juventus among those reportedly keen.
A third option suggests he could sign a new deal, though the Spaniard will likely need to accept a significant wage reduction on his current £350,000 a week salary.
Should De Gea depart, United will be in the market for a top-class replacement. Porto’s Diogo Costa and Jan Oblak of Atletico Madrid are among those under consideration.
However, Ten Hag may also look closer to home and Brighton‘s Robert Sanchez is also reportedly being considered.
Now TEAMtalk’s transfer expert Graeme Bailey has confirmed Sanchez is one of the keepers United are looking at.
“Robert Sanchez has proven himself as one of the best keepers in the Premier League over the last 12 months. He’s one of those who has pushed David De Gea out of Spanish contention,” Bailey told TEAMtalk.
United will have to dig deep over fee
However, any such deal is sure to hit United hard in the pocket. The Seagulls have shown a willingness to cash in on their top stars before.
But, as illustrated by Marc Cucurella’s move to Chelsea over the summer, any sale will be on their terms. Furthermore, United are not the only side who are admirers of the once-capped Spain international.
“Brighton will demand a big price, little doubt,” he added. “They have pushed for big deals in the past. When you look at it, they’ve always landed top fees for Ben White, Yves Bissouma and Marc Cucurella. Robert Sanchez is no different in that regard.
“And add to that the fact that the likes of Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United could all be looking for new number ones next summer…. There could very well be real competition for him.”
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