Manchester United have scouted Porto and Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa at least half a dozen times this season as Erik ten Hag considers his long-term options to be the club’s number one, 90min understands.
Ten Hag and United’s decision makers have a big choice to make in goal over the coming months, with current number one David de Gea out of contract in June 2023.
United have an option to extend the Spaniard’s contract by a further year but the decision to proceed on that is complicated by De Gea’s salary, which sits among the club’s most expensive contracts at around £375,000 a week. Long-term concerns over De Gea’s capability to adapt to Ten Hag’s system mean he may no longer justify the earnings.
De Gea is open to renegotiating his deal to extend on reduced terms, but as it stands United are considering all options on the table as well as looking at alternatives. Costa is among them, though United’s potential task of signing the player became more difficult this week as the 23-year-old signed an extension to his contract with Porto until 2027 – with a raised release clause of €75m.
Such a move would come at great expense to United and they are also known to be targeting additions at right back and at centre forward in 2023, while central midfield remains an area in need of strengthening, while already having overspent on their summer budget in 2022.
United scouts are understood to be pushing the idea of pursuing Costa to decision makers, and he does fit the bill of a modern day goalkeeper – which both Liverpool with Alisson and Manchester City with Ederson have justified in recent years – capable of strong reflexes and distribution. Costa has also become renowned for his incredible record of saving penalties.
The club are understood to be in quandary of how to proceed in goal, with 90min learning that Ten Hag is falling for De Gea’s work ethic and presence around Carrington and on the pitch. De Gea made a miraculous double save during Thursday’s win over Real Sociedad and also earned United three points in the win over West Ham on Sunday, with outstanding saves from Kurt Zouma and Declan Rice.
United also have Dean Henderson, who has long eyed the club’s first choice goalkeeping slot, out on loan with Nottingham Forest at present and are due to make a decision on him upon his return at the end of the season, while Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak has long been admired.