Manchester United ‘finalising’ deal to sign £65m star perfect for Ten Hag

Manchester United ‘finalising’ deal to sign £65m star perfect for Ten Hag

Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United are reportedly ‘finalising’ a deal to bring £65 million Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa to the Premier League.

In what could be a make-or-break few days for Ten Hag’s summer plans – some semblance of clarity finally expected regarding the club’s long-awaited takeover – reports suggesting that one of Europe’s most promising glovesmen may be closing in on a move to Old Trafford provides a welcome, and exciting, break from all the ‘Sir Jim Ratcliffe vs Sheikh Jassim’ drama.

Portuguese publication Corriere de Manha report that Manchester United are now ‘finalising a proposal’ to sign Diogo Costa from FC Porto.

Costa has a £65 million release clause in his contract. He is also comfortably the most ‘sellable’ asset belonging to a Porto side under pressure to raise funds before the end of the month in order to ease their precarious financial situation.

SC Braga v FC Porto - Portuguese Cup Final
Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

Is Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa really joining Man United?

Now, at the risk of raining on this proverbial parade, it is only a few weeks since a number of Italian publications suggested that Napoli defender Kim Min-Jae was on the verge of putting pen to paper with the Red Devils.

While there is no suggestion that Kim is not a target – Fabrizio Romano insists that the South Korea international remains Ten Hag’s preferred option at centre-half – any move is not quite as advanced as some had claimed.

Ten Hag is prioritising a striker – Harry Kane and/or Rasmus Hojlund – plus a midfielder such as Mason Mount. And until United can free up funds by cashing in on the likes of Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay, it seems unlikely that a fee in excess of £40 million will be spent on reinforcing any other area of Ten Hag’s squad.

Then again, things could still change. And pretty quickly.

A conclusion to this sorry, drawn-out takeover saga is now expected imminently, as David Ornstein tells FiveUK. And the sooner the Glazer era comes to an end, the sooner Manchester United can press ahead with deals for the likes of Kim and Costa, with talks over Hojlund and Mount already at an advanced stage.

An upgrade on David de Gea

Ten Hag, meanwhile, has made no secret of his desire to bring in a goalkeeper more comfortable with the ball at his feet. David de Gea has agreed a new deal, but is far from certain to remain the club’s number one next term.

Costa, who will turn 24 in September and was rather coy when asked about Man United’s interest over the weekend, would represent a massive upgrade on the maligned Spaniard with the ball at his feet; a shot-stopper with the passing range of a seasoned playmaker.

“I will not say (De Gea) will always be my number one,” the Dutchman told The Times recently. “Because, in a club like Man United, there must be competition in all positions. You can’t do it with 11 players.It is impossible. You need double positions.”

“(A goalkeeper who can pass the ball) is not what I want. It’s more what top football demands nowadays. If you observe the biggest teams, you have to be capable of playing from the back. (You have to) use your ‘keeper as a plus one in your back. Otherwise, it’s very simple for opponents to put you under pressure.

“He (De Gea) had to step up. In a number of games, he showed progression.”

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