The Only 4 Men Who Could Replace David De Gea - Manchester United Boss ''Not Confident'' Of New Deal For Keeper
The increasingly dour Jose Mourinho has never been a man to raise expectations during his time as Manchester United manager and he set alarms bells ringing with his underwhelming assessment of David de Gea's contract extension. We take a look at the men who could replace De Gea if he were to leave Old Trafford.
During Mourinho's press conference ahead of Sunday's Premier League clash with Everton, the United boss said that he was "not confident" that De Gea would sign a contract extension, meaning he could leave for free when his current deal expires in the summer.
Rio Ferdinand reacted to the news by responding to Tweets from Harry Redknapp and Paul Ince, who had suggested De Gea was replaceable, by tweeting:
No... No.... & No Chance! Best Keeper in The World! [@RioFerdy5]
De Gea is the one genuinely world-class player that United can ill-afford to lose - despite a disappointing season that has seen him concede 17 goals and keep just three clean sheets - and Juventus have been linked with a move for the Spanish shot-stopper.
We look at FOUR potential replacements for the United goalkeeper...
The Atletico Madrid goalkeeper is arguably the best in La Liga - although Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen might have something to say about that - and he has been superb for Diego Simeone's men.
The Slovenian is still only 25 years of age and still has his best years ahead of him. Oblak's contract with Atletico runs until 2021, although there is a rumoured £89m buy-out clause in his contract and there is a feeling that Atletico may have achieved all they can under Simeone.
Oblak has remained remarkably consistent this season, conceding 13 goals in 14 games in all competitions, keeping six clean sheets.
The Italian keeper has been touted as a player who could represent his country for the next decade or more, a la Gianluigi Buffon. The AC Milan keeper has endured an up-and-down relationship with the Rossoneri fans thanks to a contract saga that eventually saw him sign a deal at the San Siro until 2021.
The presence of 'super-agent' Mino Raiola could complicate any potential move to United for a player who has been capped nine times by Italy. Donnarumma has yet to keep a clean sheet for AC Milan this season, conceding 11 goals in eight Serie A outings.
The German legend missed much of last season with an injury and had a World Cup to forget, although Manuel Neuer is back as the Bayern Munich No.1. The 32-year-old is contracted with the Bavarian club until 2023, although they have endured a difficult season in the Bundesliga so far and you wonder if Neuer might be tempted by a new challenge abroad.
Neuer has kept six clean sheets in 14 appearances this term, conceding 11 goals.
Manchester United's mid-week defeat to Juventus in the Champions League perhaps showed how far the Red Devils have fallen behind the very best teams in Europe, and they may have to adjust their sights accordingly when looking for a new goalkeeper.
The three aforementioned stoppers are arguably already playing for - or could force moves to - some of the best teams on the continent, which means that United might have to look a little closer to home.
Could Kasper Schmeichel follow in the footsteps of his father, Peter, by becoming a United legend? The Dane, who has been capped 42 times by his country, signed a contract extension until 2023 with Leicester City in August, but has struggled for consistency in an unconvincing Foxes side.
Schmeichel has conceded 16 goals in 10 games this term, keeping only two clean sheets.