Manchester United eyeing record-breaking transfer for long-term De Gea replacement

Harry Watkinson
Costa features in transfer gossip
Diogo Costa in action for Porto.

Manchester United are reportedly working on a deal to sign highly-rated Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa at the end of the season. But, they may have to pay in excess of £72m to get their man.

The 23-year-old has been in fine form this season, attracting interest from several big European clubs of late.

Erik ten Hag seems to have decided that David de Gea needs more competition and Costa could be a great long-term replacement for the Spaniard.

Overall, the goalkeeper has kept nine clean sheets in 19 appearances across all competitions for Porto this season, gaining him a reputation as one of the most exciting young goalkeepers in Europe at the moment.

Manchester United are thought to be big admirers of Costa, with Erik ten Hag seeing him as the ideal long-term replacement for De Gea, according to the Sun.

With the Red Devils already working on a potential deal which could cost in excess of £72m, if this should happen, it would break Chelsea’s current transfer record for a goalkeeper, from when they paid £72m for Kepa Arrizabalaga.

However, as per the report, United are keen to tie their current number one down to a new contract on reduced wages, rather than let him leave on a free transfer, so Costa would be brought in as stiff competition for the Spaniard.

Costa made his debut for the Portuguese national team in 2021 and also featured for them at the 2022 World Cup, playing every minute of their tournament in Qatar as they reached the quarter-finals.

Already an excellent goalkeeper, Costa has the potential to become one of the world’s best if he continues to improve at his current trajectory.

Last season, De Gea was criticised by United fans at times following a run of inconsistent performances, something which Ten Hag will need to eradicate if the Red Devils want to challenge for trophies again.

Another reason for Ten Hag’s decision to look for a new goalkeeper is the Spaniard’s distribution, which in November he said publicly he needs to improve.

Speaking to the official Manchester United website, he said:

“So, everyone has their own opinion and their own philosophy.

“For me, for a goalkeeper, you have to protect the goal and make sure you don’t concede goals. In that fact, he is magnificent.

“On the feet, for me, he has the capabilities as well. I think when you see this season, he is progressing from game to game on that part. And that has to do not only with the keeper.

“It has also to do with the ones in front, how you give the keeper the options to bring passes in, because when they don’t run free, or in the wrong moments, or in the wrong positions, then he doesn’t have the options to pass around.

“But I am convinced he can do it and I think the games so far prove that. I think he will improve from game to game on that part.”

However, looking at the stats almost two months later, De Gea has a pass success rate of just 65.5%, considerably lower than Costa’s 75%.

With Costa being superior in this regard and with his potential to be a fantastic addition for the future, don’t be surprised if United splash out a record fee on the Porto keeper this winter.

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