Manchester United have stepped up their interest in signing Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa, according to Correio da Manha (today’s edition, page 28).
The Red Devils are likely to pursue a marquee goalkeeper in 2023 with manager Erik ten Hag reportedly prepared to part ways with David de Gea.
De Gea’s current deal expires at the end of the campaign and the hierarchy don’t plan to trigger an extension clause to keep him next season.
It is now reported that United have upped their interest in landing Costa and they could open talks with Porto for his services in the next few weeks.
However, the Portuguese side have no desire of losing their prized asset in January unless the €75 million (£65m) release clause in his contract is triggered.
United unlikely to sign a goalkeeper in January
United need to improve their squad in January to challenge for the Premier League top four, but a new goalkeeper is unlikely to be among their top priorities.
The club require a versatile forward to fill the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit while a new right-back could also be pursued to replace Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Hence, any move for a shot-stopper could be delayed until the summer. United could possibly replace De Gea with Costa, who has built his reputation this season.
The 23-year-old was superb for Porto in the Champions League group stage where he saved three penalties in as many games. He went on to sign a new long-term deal.
Costa could not replicate the showing for Portugal at the World Cup where he was guilty of high-profile errors, but United still have a ‘firm interest‘ in signing him.
Aside from his strong reflexes and penalty-saving ability, Costa has also excelled with his passing range. He has averaged a stunning 10 long balls in Europe this term.
This is one department where De Gea has tended to struggle. If United were to sign Costa, he could cement the number one role for the next decade at the club.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com and WhoScored.com