Manchester United could raid Athletic Bilbao to acquire the services of Spanish goalkeeper Unai Simon.
As per Athletic, United have looked at Unai Simon as a possible replacement for his Spanish compatriot David de Gea. The latter has been the first-choice keeper in the last few seasons but the need for a revamp of the goalkeeping department could downgrade his position at the club.
United didn’t prioritise a keeper as there have never been any doubts over de Gea’s shot-stopping skills. The 31-year-old has easily been amongst the top three keepers in the Premier League but he doesn’t really reflect Erik ten Hag’s idea of a keeper as far as the technicalities are concerned.
Following a disastrous performance against Brentford, the manager has gone on to make some drastic changes to the basics. Differences could be seen as the Spaniard’s distribution skills have improved compared to his previous seasons but ideally, ten Hag would prefer a player who could provide constant support to his backline.
Unai Simon replaced de Gea in the Spain national team and United’s number one is no more the go-to goalkeeper for Luis Enrique as it stands. Unai Simon’s relatively young age also makes him the hottest prospect as the 25-year-old hasn’t really hit the pinnacle of his career and could further develop under the Dutch manager.
Simon is contracted with Bilbao until 2025 and won’t have any insecurity regarding his position in the team. The club hasn’t sounded out Bilbao yet over a possible deal but could test the waters in the summer if the de Gea issue fails to resolve by then.
The former Atletico Madrid keeper has a one-year option in the contract but the club is keen to extend his stay but on much lower terms. Reducing the wage bill has been the management’s priority and they could start the proceedings by offering the player a new extended contract with a reduced salary.
He is currently one of the highest-paid players in the Premier League but the club feels his performance doesn’t really correlate with their vision thus a new deal could be struck only if the player is ready to accept the new pay scale.