Manchester United goalkeeper Tom Heaton has reportedly emerged as a shock transfer target for Championship club Middlesbrough.

According to The Sun, Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder is looking for a new number one and has identified Tom Heaton as a possible transfer for the upcoming summer transfer window. Boro are keen to take the shot-stopper on loan if Manchester United allow him to leave this summer.

The 36-year-old returned to Manchester United on a free transfer last summer to act as cover for the likes of David de Gea and Dean Henderson. Heaton made just one appearance for Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League and warmed the bench for the majority of the season.

Heaton is keen to get regular game time next season rather than play as third-choice for Manchester United. Thus a move to Middlesbrough would appeal the 36-year-old. But he was not Wilder’s first-choice goalkeeper target, who had his eyes set on a reunion with Dean Henderson, who he managed at Sheffield United.

Henderson is eager to be a first-choice goalkeeper at a Premier League club next season after spending the 2021/22 season as an understudy to De Gea. Newcastle United have been linked with a move for the England international.

Newcastle United are targeting Manchester United's Dean Henderson as well (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Newcastle United are targeting Manchester United’s Dean Henderson as well (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Boro had approached the goalkeeper’s entourage over a summer move, but they were told that he would rather play in the English top-flight. The Championship outfit were also ready to pay £40,000 per week as Henderson’s wages if Manchester United had agreed on a loan move, but the Red Devils were holding on for more.

Nevertheless, Henderson seems set to stay in the Premier League, but Heaton could be on the move. Wilder is also reportedly set to add another goalkeeper to his squad with Northampton’s Liam Roberts on his radar.

Roberts is expected to be the second-choice keeper at the club and will join on a free transfer as his contract with the League Two club expires this month. The Middlesbrough boss is also targeting Leicester City midfielder Hamza Choudhury for a possible loan deal and are fighting West Bromwich Albion for his signature.

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