Brighton keeper Matthew Ryan has emerged as a shock transfer target for Manchester United.
United’s board are preparing for life without David De Gea, whose contract runs to at the end of the season. The club have offered the Spain stopper a new contract, but De Gea hasn’t put pen to paper yet.
Although, De Gea would leave a huge hole to fill, the powers-that-be at United have to plan for the future, and Brighton’s highly rated keeper has emerged as a candidate to fill the Spaniard’s gloves.
The Aussie international joined Brighton from Valencia for around £5m in July 2017, and has taken to life in England very well, establishing himself as a key player for the Seagulls and getting a reputation as a fine shot-stopper.
The 6″1 keeper has kept three clean sheets on the trot, in consecutive 1-0 wins against West Ham, Newcastle and Wolves, in a month which has seen Ryan nominated for October Player of the Month, and Chris Hughton nominated for Manager of the Month.
Ryan, 26, is still relatively young for a goalkeeper, and has developed very rapidly over the last few years. In his two years at Club Brugge he won the award for best goalkeeper in Belgium each year, and played in the Champions League and Europa League under Gary Neville with Valencia.
The Aussie’s performances have won him many admirers in England, and the United board are considering snapping him up if De Gea leaves- even though Ryan still has three and a half years remaining on his contract.
At international level Ryan has established himself as Australia’s undisputed #1, winning 47 caps to date.
The Socceroo has won plaudits for his acrobatic shot stopping, and impressive command of the penalty area, despite his relatively diminutive stature.
Jose Mourinho has already admitted he is “not confident” of keeping De Gea at Old Trafford, amidst a lot of recent unrest at the club between players and the manager. United have the option of extending his contract by a year in January 2019, keeping De Gea at the club until the winter transfer window next season.
De Gea would no doubt attract suitors from a great number of clubs, but Real Madrid seems unlikely to be one of them. The Spaniard has flirted with the reigning Champions League winners a number of times, but their £35m move for Thibaut Courtois in the summer makes that move very unlikely. PSG and Juventus are also reported to be interested in getting De Gea’s signature, as both clubs search for European success.