Former Japan defender Marcus Tulio Tanaka has concerns about reports suggesting that Urawa Red Diamonds goalkeeper Zion Suzuki could join Premier League giants Manchester United in a record-breaking £5 million deal.

Over the weekend, a video emerged on Twitter. One which offered a tantalising insight into exactly why Manchester United appear willing to make this hitherto-unknown 20-year-old goalkeeper the most expensive export in the history of the Japanese top-flight.

Zion Suzuki has admitted to modelling his game on Manchester City’s Ederson; arguably the best ball-playing goalkeeper in world football. And Ederson’s influence is clear to see as Suzuki pings a series of pinpoint passes onto the toes of his team-mates.

Urawa Red Diamonds v Kawasaki Frontale - J.LEAGUE YBC Levain Cup Group B
Photo by Hiroki Watanabe/Getty Images

As David de Gea found out the hard way – Erik ten Hag reportedly refusing to sign off on his contract extension before the Spaniard left Old Trafford on a free transfer – any goalkeeper at Manchester United these days must be as comfortable starting attacks as they are stopping them (The Athletic).

Manchester United in Zion Suzuki talks

Ten Hag wants his ‘number one’ almost to act like an extra outfield player.

And Suzuki – like Inter Milan’s Andre Onana – promises to give Ten Hag’s Manchester United side an entirely different dimension in possession.

Suzuki, according to Sponichi, is closing in on a £5 million move to Old Trafford. Fabrizio Romano has since backed up those claims; the Arkansas-born glovesman expected to become United’s number two with Onana inheriting De Gea’s number one shirt.

And while the move has captured the imagination back home in Japan, not everyone sees Suzuki’s life-changing switch to arguably Europe’s biggest club through an entirely positive lens. 

£5m deal on the table

“Isn’t it fake news? How can you play for Manchester United when you can’t play for the Reds?,” Tanaka argues on his YouTube channel, translated by SoccerDigestWeb.

Suzuki, Tanaka points out, is not even Urawa Red Diamonds’ first-choice. He has not played a single J-League game this season. Suzuki was also left on the bench for the 0-0 draw with FC Tokyo on Friday.

Tanaka does, however, see the supreme technical ability which could see Suzuki become only Manchester United’s second-ever Japanese player, after Shinji Kagawa.

“He’s very good at moving his feet. His steps are smooth. He’s also good at making decisions,” Tanaka adds.

Man United are reportedly keen on Fenerbahce’s Altay Bayindir too; Dean Henderson expected to follow De Gea out the door.

Bayindir has a £4.3 million release clause in his contract.

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