It was never going to happen in the middle of the season, but Manchester United are always looking ahead, and there’s a good chance in the next few months they’ll intensify their attempts to sign Asmir Begovic from Stoke City, hoping to find a goalkeeper they feel confident with.
David de Gea has been performing well of late, including a few big saves in the win against Fulham and the 1-1 draw at Tottenham, but it seems to be that he isn’t enough for Alex Ferguson, who likes some competition over the first team jersey anyway, unless he knows the man between the posts is as reliable as you can get, like Edwin van Der Sar in previous years.
Begovic has been fantastic for Stoke in the last three seasons, and especially this year. Last summer Chelsea tried to purchase him for £12 million, but the club wouldn’t accept the offer. Now that they’ve purchased Jack Butland (loaning him back to Birmingham), the clubs chasing the 25 year old keeper are hoping that it means Stoke are ready to cash in on the keeper, costing them £3.25 million in 2010.
Manchester United, already spending £17 million on De Gea 18 months ago, are probably willing to make a £15 million offer for Begovic, hoping that Stoke finally agree to part ways with their talented man at goal. Stoke will be asking for that much at least, and it’s not quite clear how much higher Alex Ferguson is willing to go in order to get himself another rather young goalkeeper when he has spent so much on someone he isn’t too pleased with in 2011.
This doesn’t mean De Gea is out at United. While still suffering from the same problems he has all along – communications, handling crosses and overall physical clashes, there are few better shot stoppers than him in the Premier League, and at such a young age, there’s a good chance he can overcome these problems in time. Unless a significant offer comes along, the more likely option is De Gea being loaned out, if United manager to get their hands on Begovic.