Manchester United can not have enough goalkeeping options. According to ESPN, the club are ‘monitoring’ Napoli shot stopper Alex Meret.
Meret is being tracked as United weigh up the futures of David de Gea, Sergio Romero and Dean Henderson.
So who is Meret and why are Unted supposedly keen? Here is a look atwhat you need to know…
1) Meret plays for Napoli and has done since 2018, when he signed from Udinese. The deal cost 35 million Euros (£31m), even though he had never played a Serie A game for his previous club.
2) Meret’s reputation had been strengthened by two seasons out on loan at SPAL, one in Serie B, in which he won the division title.
3) Meret won his second trophy earlier this year when he helped Napoli win the Coppa Italia. He played a key role, saving a penalty from Paulo Dybala in the shootout.
4) The Napoli man was handed his first Italy cap last November. It went well, with Italy beating Armenia 9-1.
5) Meret sounds pretty happy in Napoli. He told Football Italia in July: “I’d like to stay at Napoli for a long time. The surroundings here are ideal, in a fantastic city.”
Former Udinese great Antonio di Natale rates him very highly and made this clear when he left the club two years ago.
He was quoted by Gazzetta: “I saw him grow in all aspects, both technically and in terms of character. Napoli have secured a goalkeeper for the next 10 years. For me, he’s the new Buffon.”
ESPN described Meret as the ‘wall’ for an unbeatable performance as Napoli kept a clean sheet against his former side SPAL earlier this season.
Is this viable?
The report from ESPN reads: “Solskjaer wants a young, emerging talent to compete for the No.1 spot and Meret is regarded as one Europe’s most promising keepers by United’s scouting team.”
Over the next couple of years something has to give over United’s goalkeeping spot. Sergio Romero turned 33 earlier this year and he probably only has a couple of years maximum left in his role.
Lee Grant will also be moved on at the end of the season, while Joel Pereira is also unlikely to make it.
Question marks hover over David de Gea’s future and Dean Henderson is understandably a little restless.
This is only likely a move United would make if Henderson forces a permanent exit. And it is not one which would happen this summer.
Nonetheless, if United are pushed into signing a goalkeeper if Henderson leaves and De Gea’s form takes a downwards turn, it makes far more sense to pursue a player of Meret’s age and ability, compared to 29-year-old Kasper Schmeichel, who was touted for a switch by The Sun last week.
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