Talented Manchester United goalkeeper Matej Kovar will not be heading back to Sparta Prague.
Matej Kovar was the standout player of Manchester United’s first two friendly matches this summer, with an impressive 45 minute display against Leeds and then 90 minutes versus Lyon.
His performance against Lyon was so strong that he looked like an ideal understudy for new arrival Andre Onana.
However, questions were raised over his future hours after the Lyon win, with Kovar left off the club’s pre-season tour to USA.
Kovar loan route to Sparta Prague shut off
On merit alone, Kovar deserved a place on the US tour. Dean Henderson’s selection was odd, while more junior youth goalkeeper Radek Vitek was named in Kovar’s place.
His omission had one of two possibilities, either (a) he was close to clinching a loan return to Sparta Prague, or (b) he would travel with the under-21s to face Wrexham.
Kovar did not make the trip to San Diego to face Wrexham, although the Welsh side and Paul Mullin may wish he did.
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And a loan return to Sparta Prague is now off the menu, with the Czech champions deciding they can wait no longer.
Kovar has now formally recognised he will not be returning to Sparta Prague next season, last night sending a farewell message to the club.
Matej Kovar future to be decided
Absent from both of Manchester United’s tour squads, and no decision communicated on his future by Manchester United, Kovar’s situation is an odd one.
A loan move may still be the most likely scenario, with United looking for a different challenge next season outside of the Czech league. Although, with Sparta into the Champions League qualifiers, Kovar would have found a return tempting.
Instead, United may prefer to look for an English club, or a top five league. Another option is for United simply to cash in, although this would be unpopular.
As a number two, Kovar could be a good option, which begs the question, why not take him on tour?
A move for Zion Suzuki as a back-up now looks to be off. United’s goalkeepers will be Andre Onana, Tom Heaton, and a third option, yet to be set. Kovar is too good to sit as a number three, as is Heaton.
Amid the uncertainty, Kovar’s goodbye message to Sparta at least closes one door, and may offer some hope that a decision on his next move could be forthcoming.